Millions of people from around the world turned into Wednesday’s testimony of Michael Cohen as he sat before the House Oversight Committee and detailed his former boss’ possible criminal activities.
What makes this testimony so important is that the person in question is President Donald Trump. As Trump’s former attorney and friend for over one decade, Cohen had a front row seat to all of the allegations placed upon Trump. The riveting testimony detailed Trump’s involvement in Cohen’s campaign finance crimes as well as the involvement of Trump Organization executives to pay off adult-film star Stormy Daniels.
Specifically named as culprits in the Daniels payoff were Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Cohen alleges that he paid Daniels $130,000 to silence her just prior to the 2016 presidential election. Cohen said that he was then paid back by Trump.
Cohen arrived at the hearings with a myriad of hard evidence in the form of copies of checks. Although many of these details had been brought to light previously, Cohen’s official testimony added a few more facts and also delivered hard evidence of the wrongdoings.
A considerable amount of time was also spent on discussing Trump and Cohen’s involvement with David Pecker, the CEO of American Media Inc. As publisher of the tabloid magazine, “The National Enquirer,” it has long been known that Pecker and Trump shared a friendship. Cohen corroborated that Trump would often try to suppress unflattering stories with the catch-and-kill technique, paying off people to keep quiet. Pecker and his publication were often able to hide under the protection of the right to free speech.
It was a contentious day of partisan battles as Republicans worked to discredit Cohen’s character and honesty and Democrats looked to do so the same to the president. Cohen will continue to meet behind closed doors on Thursday to answer more questions. Unlike Wednesday’s event, Thursday’s testimony will not be televised.