What should Americans know about Michael Cohen

Cohen on Trump : Like the key witness in a mafia trial

Was that the decisive appearance that changed everything? Did Michael Cohen get the American president into serious trouble with his long testimony before the US Congress?

Judging by what Donald Trump's former personal attorney claimed publicly and under oath on Wednesday, that should be assumed. If Trump actually incited him to lie, if Trump knew beforehand about the Wikileaks revelations about Hillary Clinton, if he really ordered that hush money be paid to his ex-affairs, and if Cohen can prove all of this - then would all be reasons to remove the president from office.

However, it remains to be seen whether the evidence, some of which the ex-lawyer wanted to bring with him, is sufficient. In the same way, it remains to be seen what is true of the hints he made towards the end of the survey that there was more. What is "more" there will be known to the public at the earliest when FBI special investigator Robert Mueller presents his report on the Russia affair.

In May, Cohen went to prison for three years

During the six hours of questioning, Cohen appeared mostly composed and credible, like someone who now actually has nothing more to lose and wants to clean things up. After all, he is cooperating with Mueller, has admitted his guilt and will begin his three-year prison sentence in May. But at the same time the millions of viewers of the hearing, which had been touted like a major sporting event via countdown on CNN and the promise of Washington bars to open their doors in time for the live broadcast, could watch a professional liar in action.

When asked whether he just wanted to burden the President out of disappointment, who did not bring him to the White House after his election victory, Cohen said no - although even Trump-critical observers claim the opposite. And when asked if he still claims to be a good legal advisor despite having illegally paid hushing money to potentially inconvenient witnesses, he replied in the affirmative. At the same time, he admitted, apparently unmoved, that his lawyer license had been withdrawn on Tuesday. You can't tell from his face whether he's lying or not, whether he believes himself. At least in that respect he's a professional.

The Republicans want to shake his credibility

No wonder it was the strategy of the Republicans on the House Control Committee to permanently undermine the credibility of this witness. It is a natural choice. A convicted liar who served his boss loyally and without scruples for ten years before turning against him - perhaps out of disappointment - in order to ultimately be less severely punished: The narrative catches on with those who already believe that the opposition simply refuses to accept that Trump won the election and is doing everything humanly possible to overthrow him.

And yet, Cohen did not even try to justify his questionable actions in the service of his master. Like a dropout from a sect, he himself no longer seems to understand what he previously declared himself ready to do. As shameful as that was for the ex-attorney Cohen, it was convincing for the witness Cohen.

When asked, Cohen estimated that he had threatened people around 500 times on behalf of Trump. An almost unbelievable number, which is reminiscent of the actions of the Mafia. It is no coincidence that Cohen described Trump in his opening statement as someone who acts like a mafioso. The calculation behind it: As with a mafia trial, key witnesses need former insiders to bring down the leaders.

Michael Cohen submitted. It was the first time that a once close confidante of the president had accused him in a public investigation. A statement that has it all. And that was just the beginning. America is now waiting even more impatiently for Mueller's report.

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