During his decade-long tenure as President Donald Trump's lawyer and self-proclaimed "fixer," Michael Cohen touted that he'd "take a bullet" for his client, stressing that he was "very loyal and very dedicated" to Mr. Trump.
Tomorrow, he will testify publicly to Congress against the President.
The pair's alliance disintegrated shortly after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team raided Cohen's offices, obtaining documents and even tape recordings, soon resulting in a guilty plea from Cohen to campaign finance violations (for hush money he claims he paid at the direction of the President) and for lying to Congress (regarding plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow) in 2016.
Sources tell the New York Times that some of the information could be explosive.
Cohen reportedly plans to provide evidence of possible crimes committed by the President while in office. He also plans to discuss how long the President received updates on his organization's pursuit of Trump Tower Moscow.
In addition, he'll discuss in detail the plans to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who was paid a sum of $130,000 by Cohen to keep her alleged 2006 affair with Donald Trump a secret ahead of the 2016 election. According to Cohen, the payment was made at Trump's demand. A similar payment was also made to Playboy model Karen McDougal. Tapes provided by Cohen appear to corroborate that the payment was directed by Trump as well.
Because of his extensive relationship with Donald Trump, some sources expect him to give insight to the President's character and personal beliefs, particularly in regards to race. Cohen previously said in an interview that Trump told him "black people are too stupid to vote for me," after a 2016 campaign rally. It's likely that he'll be asked to elaborate on this and other statements under oath.
Because he's lied to Congress before (on behalf of the President), Cohen will have an uphill battle in convincing lawmakers that his testimony can be trusted. He plans to provide evidence, including financial documents, that will bolster his claims. The financial documents, however, will likely be presented during his private testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Thursday, rather than during the public testimony on Wednesday.
Donald Trump's fluctuating claims of his net worth are likely to come under scrutiny as well.
Many lawmakers are acknowledging the importance of the task before them, with Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) telling Reporter Manu Raju:
“This is one moment in history. And when you get to my age, and you look back and you realize, these moments are very, very, very significant. It may very well be a turning point in our country’s history, I don’t know. People will be reading about what’s happening now, 200 years from now. And they will be asking the questions, ‘What happened’? And all I want to do is make sure the record is clear. And I want it so information comes out now and not when we’re dancing with the angels.”
Americans everywhere hope the same, with many believing that Cohen's testimony could indicate a turning point in the public's perception of the President.
Or, at the very least, make for good television.
@SethAbramson He is WILLINGLY spilling his guts right now, ALL day about things he CANNOT say tomorrow. Let that ju… https://t.co/jaNo6D2Ac8— John Newberry, M.S. (@John Newberry, M.S.)1551194435.0
@SethAbramson It's almost time.... https://t.co/PW206zBN0s— Andy Hausman (@Andy Hausman)1551194313.0
@ABC Hope it yields the desired result— BIGBOYTROY (@BIGBOYTROY)1551190922.0
@maggieNYT https://t.co/pjRnYSYXjZ— Tara Setmayer (@Tara Setmayer)1551186719.0
@maggieNYT https://t.co/0kPwgJcKkR— JoAnn (@JoAnn)1551187627.0
Others are more cautious—or optimistic, depending on which side they fall.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insists that Michael Cohen can't be trusted.
“Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same. It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies.”
She failed to mention that Michael Cohen was lying to Congress for the President's benefit, nor did she address that he's expected to bring corroborating documents.
Others still warn Americans to be cautious at getting their hopes up.
@rebeccaballhaus @wstrobel It is a vague claim. Let's wait to see what actually happens.— Federalist 65 (@Federalist 65)1551181580.0
@rebeccaballhaus @wstrobel Will he really tell the truth?— Val (@Val)1551180889.0
@rebeccaballhaus @gtconway3d @wstrobel It is big...just doesn’t feel big— Mercury (@Mercury)1551181869.0
Americans have countless questions. Hopefully Cohen will have countless—and credible—answers.