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

Christy Bowe/ZUMA

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 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.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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