Congressional Hearings Have No Teeth, Waste Tax Dollars
Last week we witnessed Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for President Trump, testify at a House hearing. I have long said that these congressional hearings, that occur under Democrats and Republicans, are useless and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Mr. Cohen has been in legal hot water since the FBI made an unprecedented move by raiding the lawyer’s offices, seizing all of his attorney-client documents. This police-state tactic was aimed not only at Cohen, but at the end of the day, it was another attempt to bring down President Trump. As we all know, one’s attorney possesses highly confidential material from his client. Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors have squeezed Michael Cohen forcing him to sing about all of Trump’s alleged misdeeds. The tools used against Cohen? A prosecution that will surely put the lawyer behind bars for years to come.
Maybe, just maybe, if Michael Cohen could go before Congress and make Trump look bad, then after prison he could make a fortune from book sales and become another Trump defector who makes a living bashing the president on cable shows. This is why Michael Cohen all of the sudden decided that his former boss for 10 years is a bad man. It should also be noted that Cohen did most of the bidding for Donald Trump as his personal attorney. Much of his work involved bullying foes of Mr. Trump through legal threats.
The House hearings featuring Michael Cohen was a waste of time because it accomplished nothing. Even for the left-wing media and Democrats. All Cohen did was repeat what we’ve heard for the past three years. The same old tired lies about Donald Trump being a bad man, a racist, and the beneficiary of the votes of a bunch of racist deplorables who put him in the White House. This is what we’ve heard since the election of 2016.
This hearing wasn’t the only example of wasted taxpayer dollars. Lois Lerner, the former top official at the IRS, came to testify in 2014 regarding the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups. At the beginning of the hearing, Lerner gave a lengthy defense of herself and then concluded it by asserting her 5th amendment right to not incriminate herself. The problem? When asserting your 5th amendment right, you must assert it immediately and let it stand alone. You cannot give a defense and then refuse to answer questions before Congress. By giving a defense, Lerner effectively forfeited her 5th amendment right. What did Congress do? Nothing. The committee allowed Lerner to leave the hearing without answering questions. Instead, the committee should’ve held Lerner in contempt of Congress and had her arrested until she answered questions.
Another example? James Comey told Congress in recent years that the Department of Justice and the FBI did not coordinate when it came to the Hillary Clinton email probe. Why he would say this baffles me because it is perfectly appropriate for the DOJ and FBI to work together considering they both work for the same agency. The reason Comey said this is because he didn’t want it to look like Loretta Lynch was involved in the Clinton investigation because as it turns out, she met with Bill Clinton the week before it was announced the DOJ would not press charges against Mrs. Clinton. The truth is that the DOJ and FBI worked closely during the entire Clinton email probe. Was Comey held responsible for misleading Congress? Of course not.
I’ll admit, it is a relatively high bar to prove that someone intentionally lied to Congress. But even if this could be proven, the chances of a U.S. attorney pressing charges are slim. Why? Because the U.S. attorney is most likely appointed by the sitting president who is also the boss of James Comey and Lois Lerner. This effectively provides an informal immunity to any executive branch official who misleads Congress.
Until Congress begins using its power of arrest to force witnesses to answer questions and U.S. Attorneys set politics aside and begin prosecuting those who lie to Congress, congressional hearings will continue to be a laughing matter.