I was discussing the Michael Cohen congressional testimony with my wife last night and we quickly hit an impasse when the topic of motive arose. I was describing how Republicans weren’t really asking questions, they were merely taking shots at Cohen’s reputation as a liar. My point, like many Democrats, was that Cohen is already going to jail, what does he gain by lying more? Perhaps I’m naive but I’d really like to believe that Cohen has indeed had some revelatory change of heart and that he genuinely feels like he needs shine some light in the shady actions of his former boss.
My wife wasn’t having that at all. In her mind he’s a career liar and everything he said yesterday was to secure some back end deal from, someone, either a book deal, or some party interested in paying him money to lie more in an effort bring down trump. My wife is the furthest thing from a trump supporter, but she did think there was some nefarious alternate motive at play here.
I have trouble with this because I can’t reconcile what that means for his testimony. Criminal investigations are built on the people inside turning on their former bosses. If we discounted all the testimony of criminals we’d never be able to catch more criminals. By merely stating that the witness can’t be trusted because he/she lied before… then what could we ever base anything on since often times the only witnesses we have are people who are involved in the criminal activity?
Personally as a man with a family I see Cohen in this light, another man with a family who has had the legs of his chair at the table kicked out from under him. All the luxury is gone and it’s not coming back. He hasn’t just lost the excess, he’s lost it all. I can’t see inside Cohen’s heart but what I’d like to believe is that he’s a guy, who when faced with losing it all, is doing the right thing for the first time, because trump the businessman is actually harming America. See I think his past efforts of protecting trump the businessman, is very different from helping trump the president, let me explain.
I do believe that in business, toeing the line of legality is the norm. Do what you can to win and most important of all increase shareholder value, but don’t get caught. Morality doesn’t really come into play with business, neither does compassion. These are the qualities I believe trump the business man treasures. The problem is these values don’t really dovetail well with the presidency. So when Cohen was protecting trump, he was protecting ruthless business villain trump, the individual who built an entire brand on the pleasure of firing someone. When you take that person and drop them into the presidency… let me restate that, when you take a person like that and make him the President of the United States of America, the most powerful nation in the world, you’re bound to get incongruities. That style of leadership, and tactics won’t fly with all the checks and balances present in the design of America. It is this style of leadership that is currently harming America and I’d like to believe that Cohen sees this, and maybe this is why he’s working to expose trump to the American people.