Michael Cohen has blown a lot of political smoke but no impeachable fire

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday was explosive and raw. But the verdict is nonetheless clear: lots of political smoke, little impeachable fire.

Cohen’s allegations boil down to three points: 1. President Trump is a dishonest man, a pathological liar and a racist. 2. He directly used personal, corporate and foundation funds to silence porn stars; to inflate his personal assets to obtain bank financing; and to buy a painting of himself. 3. He knew in advance that WikiLeaks would release the hacked Clinton campaign emails and continued to negotiate for a project in Moscow during the presidential campaign while saying he wasn’t.

The first set of allegations adds salacious, but unverifiable, logs to the fire that has burned throughout Trump’s political career. None of this will matter to either Trump’s supporters or those in the middle who have long since decided that other matters, such as policy and his acts in office, are more important. Every month it seems we have a new personal revelation about Trump’s character and it doesn’t move the polls. As a political matter, this is, as lawyers in depositions say, “asked and answered.”

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