A former official of the Reagan administration, as well as both Bush administrations, Peter Wehner reprimanded House Oversight Committee Republicans for their “frantic effort to discredit” the former attorney and fixer of President Trump, Michael Cohen.
“Republicans on the committee tried to destroy the credibility of his testimony, not because they believe that his testimony is false, but because they fear it is true,” Wehner wrote.
“By now Republicans must know, deep in their hearts, that Mr. Cohen’s portrayal of Mr. Trump as a ‘racist,’ ‘a con man’ and ‘a cheat’ is spot on,” Wehner said. “So it is the truth they fear, and it is the truth — the fundamental reality of the world as it actually is — that they feel compelled to destroy.”
“This is the central organizing principle of the Republican Party now. More than tax cuts. More than trade wars,” he continued. “More even than building a wall on our southern border. Republicans are dedicated to annihilating truth in order to defend Mr. Trump and they will go after anyone, from Mr. Cohen to Robert Mueller, who is a threat to him.”
Cohen’s credibility was shaken to the core by Republican lawmakers during his testimony in Congress, with several members of the House panel, including Representative Jim Jordan, slamming their Democratic counterparts for allowing Cohen to testify despite being sentenced to prison for a number of crimes, including lying to Congress.
Jordan, the panel’s ranking member, tied the testimony to Democrats’ disdain for Trump.
“They just want to use you, Mr. Cohen,” Jordan said in his opening statement Wednesday. “You’re their patsy today. They’ve got to find somebody somewhere to say something so they can try to remove the president from office.”
Jordan then went on to call Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal attorney for a decade, a “fraudster, cheat, convicted felon and, in two months, a federal inmate.”
Wehner wrote that Cohen’s testimony “revealed as much about the Republican Party as it did about President Trump and his former lawyer.”
The former Reagan official said Republicans on the panel targeted Cohen while “steadfastly ignoring the actual evidence he produced.”
“They tried to impugn his character but were unable to impugn the documents he provided. Nor did a single Republican offer a character defense of Mr. Trump. It turns out that was too much, even for them,” he continued.
“In that sense, what Republicans didn’t say reveals the truth about what happened at the hearing on Wednesday as much as what they did say,” he added.