Like much of the country did yesterday, I watched the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing where Trump’s former attorney, Michael “Mr. Fix it” Cohen voluntarily appeared to testify. In his opening statement, Cohen said he was there “to correct the record, to answer the Committee’s questions truthfully, and to offer the American people what [he knows] about President Trump.”
The hearing turned out to be the political circus I expected, but I was disheartened by the behavior I witnessed from the so-called conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus and most of the Republicans on the committee who willingly abandoned any pretense of seeking truth and upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.
In the days leading up to the hearing, the GOP adopted mob-styled intimidation tactics that would make Vito Corleone jealous as they tried to influence the hearing and discredit Cohen even before he testified. The RNC fired the first shots, saying in a tweet that Cohen began lying about Trump only after he was caught for tax evasion and other financial misdeeds.
For years, Michael Cohen praised @realDonaldTrump’s honesty and integrity.
It was only after Cohen was caught for tax evasion and other personal financial misdeeds, he began lying about President Trump in an effort to save face. pic.twitter.com/AQnxxk7yBF
— GOP (@GOP) February 26, 2019
On the same day, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) — playing the role of Tommy DeVito in GoodFellas — threatened Cohen in a tweet that mentioned his wife and father-in-law. The tweet has since been taken down, but read:
Hey @MichaelCohen212 – Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 26, 2019
The tweet was taken down by Gaetz in an attempt to avoid an investigation into witness tampering, an attempt that failed because the Florida State Bar just announced they are launching an investigation.
In yesterday’s hearing, House Freedom Caucus leaders Rep. Mark Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan were particularly obvious in their zeal to protect Trump at all costs.
I like Jim Jordan. We're friends and former colleagues. But this is so disappointing. He and all the other Republicans on this committee have made it their sole mission to protect Donald Trump. The search for the truth be damned. So disappointing. https://t.co/FINFBS7TwT
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) February 27, 2019
Jordan unleashed a barrage of attacks on Cohen without offering any defense of Trump — because he’s indefensible — and accused Cohen of lying to get even with Trump for not offering him a job in the White House.
“I see a guy who worked for 10 years and trashing the guy he worked for for 10 years, didn’t get a job in the White House. You didn’t get brought to the dance … And now you’re behaving just like everyone else who got fired or didn’t get the job they wanted.”
Ironically, Donald Trump, Jr., sent out a tweet during the hearing that said Cohen had begged to work at the White House at about the same time that Jordan made his accusation. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence because Jordan wouldn’t be coordinating with the White House, would he?
Hahahaha Michael Cohen begged to work at the White House and everyone knows it.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 27, 2019
Meadows was equally confrontational. After failing to get the hearing postponed on a technicality, he accused Cohen of violating the Foreign Agent Disclosure Act. According to Meadows, Cohen failed to disclose contracts he had with foreign companies in his truth in testimony disclosure form. That was a lie because Cohen was a “non-governmental witness” and not required to disclose the information Meadows was seeking.
Honestly, Meadows’ performance was expected. He revealed his pro-Trump bias in an interview yesterday with Trump’s morning intel team at Fox & Friends before the hearing.
This is a small sample of how the GOP has been handling the Cohen situation over the past few days, and regardless what your opinion of Trump, Cohen, etc. may be, this behavior proves a point I often make: the GOP no longer represents conservative values and the Constitution.
Maybe it would be a good idea for the House Freedom Caucus and the rest of the Republicans who have hitched their wagon to Trump’s falling star to heed the warning Cohen gave them at the hearing yesterday:
“I did the same thing as you’re doing now, for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years. The more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I am suffering.”
Somehow, in an age where Republicans have been replaced by Trumplicans and conservatives by Trumpservatives, and where abandoning conscience for compromise has become standard operating procedure, I have a feeling that Cohen’s warning landed on deaf ears.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are also featured on NOQReport.com.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.