During today’s House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made Michael Cohen a stepping stone, focusing her questioning instead on what the committee needed to know. In doing so, she effectively made a list of the Democratic majority’s next targets.
Ocasio-Cortez’s Republican colleagues attempted to make the hearing an absolutely incoherent shitshow in order to discredit Cohen’s testimony, which made several explosive allegations as to the President Trump’s misdeeds as a private citizen, candidate, and elected official. Ocasio-Cortez and several of her shrewder colleagues did not bother with any of that, instead working Cohen over for clear and concise answers as to who, exactly, the committee should question to get to the heart of the Trump Administration’s chaotic net of fraud and crime.
AOC’s questioning built on threads established earlier in the hearings by Reps. Peter Welch and Lacy Clay, who also focused in on which people Cohen had been in contact with while working on “catch and kill” assignments to suppress negative stories about President Trump.
In short, efficient questions, she established that American Media’s David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer, as well as Enquirer editor Barry Levine and AMI President Dylan Howard would know more about a “treasure trove” of compromising documents that the president allegedly used their media network to collect and safeguard. Her questioning also helped push Cohen to admit that there was evidence of Trump committing insurance fraud. “To your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“Yes,” Cohen responded.
She also dug into questions of the president’s finances, pressing Cohen to defer on several questions and then simply asking, “Who would know the answer to those questions?” “Alan Weiselberg,” Cohen replied, referring to the CFO of the Trump Organization. All of these names are now on the list—and the Oversight Committee has subpoena power.