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Old 02-27-2019, 09:15 AM
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Cohen Testimony Thread


I can't watch the Cohen testimony where I am, but I could follow along here at the SDMB. Is anyone watching it? If so, could you post the good stuff, bad stuff, bullshit, grandstanding, etc.?

I don't normally start threads that I don't plan on contributing to much, but here we are. Apologies in advance.

(Mods, if you think that starting a thread that I can't contribute to is bad, just close this, I guess)

Thanks! I wish I could get my hands on some popcorn.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:31 AM
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I don't think that I'll be able to watch any of it myself. But here's a starter for anyone who wants to read Cohen's opening statement:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/27/polit...-st=1551281440
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:33 AM
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538 liveblog: https://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blo...hen-testimony/
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:33 AM
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We've got one of these.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:54 AM
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The Moderator Clears His Throat


While there'll be some overlap I think one in the Pit and one here will work out fine.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:57 AM
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While there'll be some overlap I think one in the Pit and one here will work out fine.
I looked and didn't see anything, and checking now, looks like I was first! By a whole minute.

Other than the problem of certain posters refusing to post in the Pit, I'm fine with shutting this down if there's too much overlap (not that you need my permission). Thanks for keeping it open for now.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:05 AM
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The two fora do different things. We can have threads on one topic that do different things. No worries at all. Let's see what develops.

I predict there will be less cussing in this one.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:36 AM
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This is shaping up unfortunately predictably. Republicans are trashing Cohen personally (I believe two of them have used exactly the same line about putting a liar on the stand, while Democrats are tut-tutting the whole thing.

Unless Cohen can come up with some sort of corroborating evidence (witnesses to their conversations, recordings of phone calls, whatever) to his allegations, this will devolve literally into a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:42 AM
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I'm enjoying the R's beet-read, pop-eyed indignant posturing.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:39 AM
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Unless Cohen can come up with some sort of corroborating evidence (witnesses to their conversations, recordings of phone calls, whatever) to his allegations, this will devolve literally into a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
I can't watch at the moment - is Cohen saying anything new? Is he expected to?

I take it for granted that the Republicans have gone over everything he has said previously, both truthful and otherwise, and will dwell lovingly on the otherwise. And "I was lying then, but I am telling the truth now" is always a tough sell.

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Old 02-27-2019, 12:01 PM
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When called a liar he should simply respond that to work for trump it was a job requirement.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:56 PM
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"I was a liar, but I'm not anymore" isn't much better.

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Old 02-27-2019, 12:58 PM
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I take it for granted that the Republicans have gone over everything he has said previously
Well, that makes one of us.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:09 PM
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I can't watch at the moment - is Cohen saying anything new? Is he expected to?

I take it for granted that the Republicans have gone over everything he has said previously, both truthful and otherwise, and will dwell lovingly on the otherwise. And "I was lying then, but I am telling the truth now" is always a tough sell.

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Shodan
The sell is relatively easy in this case: Before, he had something to lose. Now, he's already lost and essentially immune to anything one way or the other.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:25 PM
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"I was a liar, but I'm not anymore" isn't much better.

Regards,
Shodan
You seem to imply that no one who ever lied for their boss could ever be trusted. He already pled guilty and has no further reason to lie. He said over and over again that he lied for Trump out of loyalty to him, a loyalty that he no longer feels. He's coming clean to clear his conscience. At this point, lying to congress would get him into further trouble, since that would lead to new perjury charges, so he has more to gain by telling the truth and lots to lose by lying.

Do you agree?
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:28 PM
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So he should be believed, because he has been lying all his life and has nothing to lose by lying now.

But I think you are mistaken about his having nothing to gain. Trump is done with him, and if Cohen gives the Dems something they think they can use to bring down Trump, they will make a hero out of him. Heck, maybe if they can bring down Trump and Pence, Pelosi will give him a pardon and some Democrat will set him up with a book deal.

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Old 02-27-2019, 01:28 PM
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He's coming clean to clear his conscience.
Or, more likely, to pull Trump into the pokey with him.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:30 PM
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He's coming clean to clear his conscience.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Quote:
Do you agree?
No.

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Old 02-27-2019, 01:33 PM
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So he should be believed, because he has been lying all his life and has nothing to lose by lying now.

But I think you are mistaken about his having nothing to gain. Trump is done with him, and if Cohen gives the Dems something they think they can use to bring down Trump, they will make a hero out of him. Heck, maybe if they can bring down Trump and Pence, Pelosi will give him a pardon and some Democrat will set him up with a book deal.

Regards,
Shodan
First, let's not lose the thread -- he was lying in order to hide criminal conduct by the president. That's what he was lying about. We can't trust him to tell the truth now because he lied to us to conceal criminal conduct by the Republican president -- is that the line you're taking? Because it seems like it.

And, your second paragraph is pure fantasy. He's going to jail for a few years. I mean, what the fuck -- he's lying to get a future pardon from a hypothetical President Pelosi?

Respond if you'd like -- I think I'm done with this interaction. (Although I'm still hoping you'd respond to my questions in the Pastor Pete thread -- you went silent over there)
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:34 PM
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BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
No.

Regards,
Shodan
Very helpful. That wasn't all that I had in that paragraph. So, I'm really done. Thanks for this extremely fruitful exchange.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:40 PM
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So he should be believed, because he has been lying all his life and has nothing to lose by lying now.

But I think you are mistaken about his having nothing to gain. Trump is done with him, and if Cohen gives the Dems something they think they can use to bring down Trump, they will make a hero out of him. Heck, maybe if they can bring down Trump and Pence, Pelosi will give him a pardon and some Democrat will set him up with a book deal.

Regards,
Shodan
Seems that everyone that has been involved with Trump as that. No pardon needed.

As for believed, Cohen was found in the past to be lying about Trump being innocent.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:41 PM
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So he should be believed, because he has been lying all his life and has nothing to lose by lying now.

But I think you are mistaken about his having nothing to gain. Trump is done with him, and if Cohen gives the Dems something they think they can use to bring down Trump, they will make a hero out of him. Heck, maybe if they can bring down Trump and Pence, Pelosi will give him a pardon and some Democrat will set him up with a book deal.

Regards,
Shodan
Maybe he is still lying. So far today, hes claimed

1. That he believes rumors of a videotape that show Trump hitting Melania are false and he does not believe the tape exists. He does not believe Mr. Trump would ever hit his wife.

2. To his knowledge, Trump has never urged any woman to get an abortion, or pay for any medical procedure for any woman.

3. Rumors of Trump having a love child are false

4. That he never went to Prague and while he made a trip to Europe in 2016 he did not meet with any Russians or conduct any Trump business.

Hes not sounding like a guy thats lying his ass off to get Trump. He missed too many opportunities.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:54 PM
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The Pit thread is more fun that this one, IMO.
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:29 PM
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"I was a liar, but I'm not anymore" isn't much better.

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Shodan
The funny part?

Cohen lied about Trump being innocent. And you think that's a great point to bring up again and again.
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:46 PM
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As for believed, Cohen was found in the past to be lying about Trump being innocent.
What has Trump been found guilty of, that Cohen lied about?

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Shodan
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:50 PM
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Maybe he is still lying. So far today, hes claimed

1. That he believes rumors of a videotape that show Trump hitting Melania are false and he does not believe the tape exists. He does not believe Mr. Trump would ever hit his wife.

2. To his knowledge, Trump has never urged any woman to get an abortion, or pay for any medical procedure for any woman.

3. Rumors of Trump having a love child are false

4. That he never went to Prague and while he made a trip to Europe in 2016 he did not meet with any Russians or conduct any Trump business.
Do you believe Cohen in any or all of the above?

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:01 PM
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So he should be believed, because he has been lying all his life and has nothing to lose by lying now.

Regards,
Shodan
I think it's a fair point. Since he has lied under oath before, it is reasonable to believe he's lying now, at least in part. I would take everything he says with a grain of salt and give more weight to any documents he can produce.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:00 PM
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What has Trump been found guilty of, that Cohen lied about?

Regards,
Shodan
Logic says that Trump has it for breaking the law about campaign donations.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...onation-357250

But of course, you already know that to get to the big fish we have to go first for the small one so this question is really silly.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:02 PM
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Do you believe Cohen in any or all of the above?

Regards,
Shodan
I believe his entire testimony today is credible. Part of what makes it credible is that hes not trying to gratuitously smear Trump.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:25 PM
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there are many people in prison based on the testimony of people who lied or committed felonies. For example John Gotti went to prison based on testimony of Sammy Gravano who admitted to killing around 19 people. Gotti died in prison, Gravano did his time but is now free.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:27 PM
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What has Trump been found guilty of, that Cohen lied about?

Regards,
Shodan

FOUND guilty of?

or IS guilty of?

As for the first - nothing yet, as we're in the early stages
As for the second - quite a lot, actually in my opinion. Some things criminal offences, some moral offences, and some offences against nature.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:32 PM
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So he should be believed, because he has been lying all his life and has nothing to lose by lying now.

But I think you are mistaken about his having nothing to gain. Trump is done with him, and if Cohen gives the Dems something they think they can use to bring down Trump, they will make a hero out of him. Heck, maybe if they can bring down Trump and Pence, Pelosi will give him a pardon and some Democrat will set him up with a book deal.

Regards,
Shodan
1) The man is going to prison for 3 years. Being able to make some Democrats happy is a pretty small award compared to shooting for a new case of perjury and additional charges that could extend the 3 years out longer.
2) Cohen gets a book deal no matter what. Ain't nothing about taking this action that changes it.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:14 PM
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2) Cohen gets a book deal no matter what. Ain't nothing about taking this action that changes it.
In fact, Cohen was quite clear several times that he would not automatically rule out a future book or TV commentator deal. He's not at all coy about it.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:18 PM
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Those idiot fucking Republican congress people kept coming back to a book deal. As though that's what this was all about. Fuck me. Republicans: look yourselves in the mirror and ask yourselves if you really believe that this was about a book deal. Holy fuck.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:10 PM
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Those idiot fucking Republican congress people kept coming back to a book deal. As though that's what this was all about. Fuck me. Republicans: look yourselves in the mirror and ask yourselves if you really believe that this was about a book deal. Holy fuck.
What else do they have to talk about? It's very dangerous territory--almost anything other than 'YOU SEEK A BOOK DEAL YOU AWFUL PERSON!' leads back to the quicksand of 'you are a liar' which inexorably leads to 'you worked for Trump who required you to lie to cover up his multifarious misconduct and even actual crimes.'

That said: these Republicans seem remarkably short of both 'good faith' and 'integrity.' The only one who didn't come off as a complete tool was Michigan's Amash.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:34 PM
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Those clowns in Congress did it again. What a bunch of clowns.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:54 PM
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Those clowns in Congress did it again. What a bunch of clowns.
That metaphor is incredibly insulting to clowns.
  #38  
Old 02-28-2019, 08:45 AM
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From what I read in the papers, few real bombshells, and the sort of posturing on both sides that makes most congressional hearings unwatchable and useless. The line I liked best - that I hope has legs - was purported to be a response to Repub questioners, [paraphrase] "You are covering up for Trump, the same thing I did for years."

One would like to think that being called a liar, cheat, bigot, etc by one of one's closest longtime allies would have some effect, but Trump and his supporters seem to pretty clearly be beyond that.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:15 AM
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but Trump and his supporters seem to pretty clearly be beyond that.
"A guy walks into a psychiatrist's office and says, hey doc, my brother's crazy! He thinks he's a chicken. Then the doc says, why don't you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs."
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:22 AM
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The Cohen hearing, coming on the heels of the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing, has got me thinking along the following lines: America needs a conservative and a liberal party, opposing parties that represent competing ideologies, to get the best overall outcome for its citizens. At this point, the only rational way to do this is to split the Democratic Party into a conservative and a liberal faction. The Republicans? I'm sure there's an insane asylum somewhere that will admit them. They are really and truly disconnected from reality. The best thing one might say about them is that at least some of them don't really believe their own bullshit, but I don't see that as being very constructive for anyone.

Last edited by wolfpup; 02-28-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:24 AM
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Logic says that Trump has it for breaking the law about campaign donations.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...onation-357250.
I didn't see the logic in your cite. I saw an accusation, but the cite compared the accusation to the one against John Edwards, and he wasn't found guilty.

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Old 02-28-2019, 09:58 AM
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I didn't see the logic in your cite. I saw an accusation, but the cite compared the accusation to the one against John Edwards, and he wasn't found guilty.

Regards,
Shodan
Campaign finance law requires that a person breaking the law know that their behavior is illegal. No politician, before Edwards, had ever been accused under the law resulting from a third party payment of the nature of that made by Bunny Mellon to Edward's mistress. Therefore it was far easier to argue credibly that the candidate did not meet the requirement of knowing that his behavior was illegal. But only the first person so charged can make that argument because knowledge of the Edwards case makes that argument far less credible, especially when you're arranging for the payment to be made via a cutout.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:02 AM
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...The Republicans? I'm sure there's an insane asylum somewhere that will admit them. They are really and truly disconnected from reality. The best thing one might say about them is that at least some of them don't really believe their own bullshit, but I don't see that as being very constructive for anyone.
You know, I could respect a Repub who said, "Sure, Trump is an incompetent liar. I support him to the extent that his being there helps me support my constituents' preferences better than Hillary would have. But I'm sure as hell going to work as hard as I can to have SOMEONE who is minimally competent and somewhat less dishonest run against him in 2020."

Anything sort of that makes a Repub elected official an enabler at best - more likely flat out disingenuous.

My fantasy has long been for both parties to split. The moderates in both parties could work together to run things, while the extremists on both ends could try to build coalitions for specific issues.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:36 AM
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Most people, when accused or questioned about doing something they shouldn't be doing will deny it and lie about it. Later, when the proofs are presented, they will often admit to the offense (and implicate others, if appropriate) in order to minimise punishment. Sometimes, there is heartfelt regret. I don't have a cite for these claims other than being a parent and spending 30+ years as a law enforcement officer. Should Cohen be trusted absolutely? Of course not. Should one assume that everything he is now saying is a lie? No. Take what he is saying now and compare it with other known facts. Are his statements consistent with what is known from other sources? It seems the Republicans don't want to address the the specifics and are spending all their time attacking his credibility. I didn't see or hear much of yesterdays circus but two lines stuck in my mind. One was Cohen saying, (paraphrased) 'Don't believe me. Look at the documents and decide for yourself.' To me, that's a good reply to someone who is calling you a liar. The other was by one of the Dem members who said (to Cohen) something to the effect of ' My colleagues across the aisle aren't worried that you're lying. They're worried that you're telling the truth.' Bingo.

The reason I don't listen to much was that I couldn't stomach the speech giving. Are there not rules or is it tradition to have the members spout off about anything without asking a question? IMHO it ought to be like court where an objection can be made. "Is there a question in there somewhere?" Wishful thinking, I know. Pompous asses on both sides but, based on my limited viewing/listening, the Republicans seemed to clearly avoid asking meaningful questions to a greater extent.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:48 AM
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I didn't see the logic in your cite. I saw an accusation, but the cite compared the accusation to the one against John Edwards, and he wasn't found guilty.

Regards,
Shodan
Uh, that was answering the serious question, the silly one was about Trump being convicted already, that was just a red herring. The point stands, Cohen is the small fry that was convicted. That the long arm of the law has not reached Trump yet is a given.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 02-28-2019 at 11:49 AM.
  #46  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:13 PM
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Arguing the guy can't be believed because he admitted "I was lying when I said the President was innocent when your team lobbed all those softball questions at me last year" is an odd position to take for people supposedly interested in the truth, but what do I know?

Last edited by JohnT; 02-28-2019 at 12:14 PM.
  #47  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:18 PM
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The Trumpist replies are amazing. I swear if Trump is indicted on 20 charges and found guilty on 19, then the Trumpists here (and elsewhere) will be crowing about how they were right that the evidence against Trump wasn't enough to convict all along.
  #48  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:52 PM
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Those clowns in Congress did it again. What a bunch of clowns.
The DJ 3000 is never wrong.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:38 PM
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Thinking about it a bit more, I wish that someone had asked Cohen if he knew what the earliest dates were at which he was under investigation.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:41 PM
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Thinking about it a bit more, I wish that someone had asked Cohen if he knew what the earliest dates were at which he was under investigation.
If it had been asked that way, he'd have had to answer "which investigation?"

There have apparently always been investigations of one kind or another of the Trump Organization. And of course Cohen had his own business interests which inspired law-enforcement attention, too.

A day later, what I'm remembering most is Cohen's remarks about ongoing investigations in the Southern District of New York. We know that Trump has been trying to derail those, via getting his US Attorney pick, Geoffrey Berman, to un-recuse himself and start doing his 'protect Trump' duties.

But that hasn't happened. And think of all Cohen could be telling them, and all they could be doing with the information...
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