No Nobel

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

While Donald Trump was unsuccessfully pursuing the Nobel Peace Prize in Hanoi, Michael Cohen made clear in DC that Trump is an even bigger scumbag than Henry Kissinger, the last American crook who got the prize.  Cohen called Trump a racist, a con man and a cheat, and backed up that statement with plenty of evidence.  Trump’s racism has been on public display since the 1960s, but Cohen revealed details about criminal behavior by the president and his adult children, both in Washington and in New York.  On the Mueller front, Cohen stated that he had overheard Roger Stone informing Trump about upcoming releases of hacked Democratic e-mails by Wikileaks, with Trump’s secretary as a potential witness, which could mean that the president lied in his written answers to the Special Counsel’s questions.  Trump’s former fixer also testified that he regularly briefed Don Jr. and Ivanka on the progress of the Moscow Tower project, something Don Jr. probably lied about to Congress.  According to Cohen the president used a specific code to nudge him into lying to Congress about the Moscow deal Trump pursued until his election, because he never expected to win.

With regards to issues that are being investigated by the Southern District of New York Cohen brought two checks that were part of his reimbursement for hush money paid to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, one signed by Donald Trump while already in office and the other by Don Jr., making both of them, as well as Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, complicit in campaign finance law violations.  Cohen also informed the congressmen that Trump had a habit of inflating the value of his properties for insurance purposes and bank loans, but deflating it on his tax returns, and brought copies of financial statements as proof.  Responding to sharp questioning by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Cohen named Weisselberg and two other Trump Organization employees as potential witnesses of these practices, which would constitute bank- and insurance fraud as well as tax evasion.  Altogether Cohen came across as very credible, not in the least because he didn’t take Republican bait and said that he had not seen evidence of collusion with the Russians and that there couldn’t possibly be a tape of Trump slapping Melania or a pee-pee tape with hookers in a Moscow hotel.

The morning after Cohen’s public testimony Trump walked away from his negotiations with Kim Jong-un without a deal, because just like Lucy did to Charlie Brown Kim pulled the ball away from right in front of Trump by demanding that all US sanctions be lifted before North Korea would start denuclearizing.  It was obviously a shock to the foreign policy community that the master of the deal didn’t see that move coming, but there was relief that the president had not given away the store without getting anything in return.

In spite of the failed negotiations Trump declared in a Q&A with the press that he still thought Kim was a great guy who could be believed at his word, in particular when the North Korean leader said that he had not known about the fate of Otto Warmbier, the American student who left one of Kim’s prisons in a coma to die a couple of days later.  Trump also said that he appreciated Cohen’s saying that he was not aware of collusion, but still considered him a rat.

Cohen gave Republican congressmen as good as he got, by telling them that he would be going to jail for doing exactly what they are doing, covering up all of Trump’s lies.  He also revealed that he is in constant contact with SDNY on behalf of its ongoing investigations, and that should worry the Trumps as much as the inevitably upcoming testimony by Weisselberg.

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