Michael Cohen’s Testimony Today Was Explosive, But Probably Not Explosive Enough

Christy Bowe/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

 I assume you’ve all been getting your Michael Cohen fixes elsewhere. I myself only watched his testimony off and on, and taken as a whole it confirmed for me that it’s going to be hard to nail Donald Trump on anything. As explosive as Cohen’s testimony was, it’s clear that Trump treated even trusted associates with the caution and animal cunning of a mob boss who’s aware that even the most private conversation might be bugged. He never told anyone to lie to Congress. (He may have told them to lie to the public, but that’s not illegal.) He never got his own hands dirty. He never said anything that could be directly incriminating. For example:

Cohen alleges that in July of 2016, Trump held a phone call with longtime adviser Roger Stone, in which Stone informed him that a WikiLeaks dump of Hillary Clinton emails was coming, to which Trump said something like: “Wouldn’t that be great.”

Was Trump aware of this before it happened? Did he play any role in getting WikiLeaks to dump the emails? Maybe, but who knows?

I could end up being wrong about this—I hope I’m wrong about this—but I continue to suspect that Mueller will end up with lots of indictments of Trump associates but nothing clear enough to get to Trump himself.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate