Despite Michael Cohen’s past lies, his testimony shines important light into decades-long deceptions

It is indisputable that Michael Cohen, longtime fixer to Donald Trump, lied to Congress before. It is equally indisputable that Wednesday, Cohen laid out persuasive testimony under oath, with documentary evidence to match, that Trump broke the law as a candidate and president.

That he orchestrated hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels in violation of campaign finance statutes. (How to refute a copy of reimbursement check for $35,000, signed by Trump?)

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That he knew of and approved of Roger Stone’s contacts with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and knew about Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails, and a meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.

That his attorneys reviewed Cohen’s statements to intelligence committees and edited critical language regarding the duration of Moscow Trump Tower negotiations.

Burnishing his credibility, Cohen knocked down a half dozen anti-Trump conspiracy theories arisen over the years. Why would a pathological liar do that?

All Republicans could do was excoriate Cohen, ignoring the substance of his claims. But this is a witness who had earned, and kept, Trump’s trust.

Credit Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Bronx’s own, for a breakthrough: In focused questioning, she got Cohen to say that Trump inflated assets to insurance companies and lied to the government to lower tax liability.

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This opens the door for the House to subpoena Trump’s tax returns. It should also encourage New York to pass legislation requiring the public release of at least five years worth of state income tax returns of officials elected by the whole state, including the President.

— New York Daily News

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