Throughout his examination by Republican representatives Wednesday, Michael Cohen was called a convicted liar. All true. Since he was a convicted liar, their reasoning went, he was not to be trusted, that what he was testifying about Donald Trump’s failings could not be believed. Several GOP interrogators based their disdain for his credibility on their experience as district attorneys or positions in law enforcement.
They were mimicking the comments of their don, Trump, who has labeled Cohen a “rat,” a moniker often used by organized crime figures to describe a turncoat, someone who provides evidence on the inner workings of the mob.
Which got me to thinking about the Mafia and how the authorities have been able to topple many crime families. Take, for example, a kingpin of the Gambino famiglia almost surely known to fellow New Yorker and Queens boy Trump—John Gotti. Gotti was brought down by the testimony of one of his henchmen, Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano. Despite confessing to involvement in 19 murders, Gravano had enough credibility to sway a jury to convict Gotti.
Other instances of felons revealing the scope of illicit activity are numerous, the most recent being witnesses during the trial and conviction of drug lord El Chapo, Joaquín Guzmán Loera. In other words, DA’s and cops rely on liars, murderers and felons of all stripes to convict crime bosses. Here’s a link to some other prominent cases: https://aboutthemafia.com/tag/mafia-rats
Go ahead, Republicans, impugn Cohen’s conviction for lying all you want. Significant from Wednesday’s hearing was the fact that not one Republican defended or denied the substance of the claims against Trump, other than Mark Meadows assertion that he never heard Trump make a racist remark (Meadows, himself, was revealed to have made a racist comment about President Obama: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2019/02/28/mark-meadows-2012-vow-send-obama-to-kenya-resurfaces/3013304002/).
Cohen’s appearance before the House Oversight Committee was a loooong opening act in what may ultimately be the first scene of an impeachment procedure. To go forward the House would have to hear corroborating testimony from Trump’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, and others Cohen claimed had knowledge of misdeeds by Trump as candidate and now president.
It’s a long shot, at best. An even longer shot that the Republican controlled Senate would vote to convict. Best case scenario for Democrats: contentment with more hearings that expose Trump grifting.
Meanwhile, a wounded Trump—a twice wounded Trump now that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has denied him any hope of a Nobel Peace Prize by rejecting Trump’s denuclearization deal—will be explosive in his battles with Democrats. Whenever cornered by facts, Trump attacks with innuendos, lies and threats. He is sure to unleash a blizzard of tweets.
Speaking of blizzards, it might snow again tonight in White Plains, though not much more than a dusting. So far this winter I’ve used my snowblower just once.
Lots of other municipalities, some places you’d hardly expect, have been inundated with snow. Tucson provides an example of how locals are reacting to the uncommon: https://www.weather.com/storms/winter/video/tucson-police-investigate-strange-white-powder-falling-from-sky?pl=pl-the-latest. Enjoy!