Michael Cohen will give public testimony before Congress on Wednesday, and it looks like he’s planning on saying some stuff we’ve long suspected was true: that Donald Trump directed him to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels, that he knew in advance of the Wikileaks drop during the 2016 campaign that included emails from the Democratic National Committee, that he avoided military service for bullshit reasons, and in general is a bloviating bag of shit that delights in conning the American public.
But there are also some choice petty bits in his prepared remarks that, while they have no bearing on the Mueller investigation, possible impeachment proceedings, or any of the legal tangles Trump finds himself in, are nevertheless delightful. Let’s dive in.
Donald Trump, like the rest of us, apparently thinks Don Jr. is an idiot. Here’s Cohen sharing details about what he suspects was the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Don Jr. allegedly met with Russian operatives (emphasis absolutely my own):
I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk – which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: “The meeting is all set.” I remember Mr. Trump saying, “Ok good…let me know.”
What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world.
Trump once had a fake bidder buy a portrait of himself, and then paid for it with funds from his foundation (we knew this one already, but it’s fun to revisit):
Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself.
And Trump is terrified of having his grades exposed because he is an idiot, much like his son:
When I say conman, I’m talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores. As I mentioned, I’m giving the Committee today copies of a letter I sent at Mr. Trump’s direction threatening these schools with civil and criminal actions if Mr. Trump’s grades or SAT scores were ever disclosed without his permission. These are Exhibit 6.
The irony wasn’t lost on me at the time that Mr. Trump in 2011 had strongly criticized President Obama for not releasing his grades. As you can see in Exhibit 7, Mr. Trump declared “Let him show his records” after calling President Obama “a terrible student.”
You can read Michael Cohen’s full prepared remarks here, and watch them live at 10 a.m. eastern if that’s your thing!