AOC Is The Clear Winner Of The Michael Cohen Congressional Hearing
Michael Cohen testified for hours in front of the House Oversight Committee about his knowledge of President Trump and his business dealings before and after becoming president. While Republicans tried to tarnish Cohen’s character and discredit his testimony, Democratic members of the committee were ready with their questions. The true star of the hearing is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) with her succinct and thought out questions regarding Trump’s questionable tax filings, which he has refused to release. Here’s a look at how AOC kept her cool after a long day of testimony and helped further the committee’s investigation into Trump’s finances.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t hold anything back when questioning Michael Cohen and people noticed.
AOC questioned Cohen about President Trump’s tax filings and finances towards the end. It was a long and tedious day filled with questions, accusations, and the occasional tantrum from Republican members of the House Oversight Committee. The New York representative was so concise with her questions that some question whether or not she truly was a bartender before becoming a Congresswoman.
She only had five minutes for her questions and she knew what she was after. First, The National Enquirer.
AOC is known for her strong and precise questioning and her questions for Cohen were more of what we have come to expect from the freshman congresswoman.
AOC: “Mr. Cohen, I’d like to quickly pick up on some previous lines of questioning before getting into my own so I may go a little quickly to get it all in in five minutes.”
“First, my colleague from Vermont had asked you several questions about AMI, the parent company of The National Enquirer. In that, you mentioned a ‘treasure trove of documents’ in David Pecker’s office relating to information assembled from all of these catch and kill operations against people who potentially had damaging information about the president. You also mentioned that the president was very concerned about the whereabouts of these documents and who possessed them.”
“Does that treasure trove of documents still exist?”
Cohen: “I don’t know. I’ve asked David Pecker for them.”
AOC: “So you would say that the person who knows the whereabouts of these documents would be David Pecker?”
Cohen: “David Pecker, Barry Levine, or Dylan Howard.”
Her biggest moment was when she asked Cohen about Trump’s tax dealings, particularly with his golf courses.
AOC: “Thank you very much. The last thing here, the Trump Golf Organization currently has a golf course in my home borough of the Bronx, Trump Links. I drive past it every day going between the Bronx and Queens. In fact, the Washington Post reported on the Trump Links Bronx Course in an article entitled, ”Taxpayers Built This New York Golf Course And Trump Reaps The Rewards.” That article is where many New Yorkers and people in the country learned that taxpayers spent $127 million to build Trump Links in a ‘generous deal allowing President Trump to keep almost every dollar that flows in” on a golf course built with public funds. This doesn’t seem to be the only time that the president has benefitted at the expense of the public.”
“Mr. Cohen, I want to ask you about your assertion that the president may have improperly devalued his assets to avoid paying taxes. According to an August 21, 2016 report by the Washington Post, while the president claimed in financial disclosure forms that Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida was worth more than $50 million he had reported otherwise to local tax authorities that the golf course was worth ‘no more than $5 million.’”
“Mr. Cohen, do you know whether this specific report is accurate?”
Cohen: “It’s identical to what he did at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor.”
AOC: “To your knowledge, was the president interested in reducing his local real estate tax bills?”
AOC: “And how did he do that?”
Cohen: “What you do is you deflate the value of the asset and then you put in a request to the tax department for a deduction.”
AOC: “Thank you.”
This isn’t the first time AOC has gotten witnesses to attest to the questionable tactics employed by President Trump.
Earlier this month, AOC questioned a panel of government watch dogs to discuss the broken campaign finance laws. In her line of questioning, AOC laid out a series of hypothetical questions about what she, as a congresswoman, was able to legally get away with.
The panelists admitted to AOC that not only can she accrue as much money as possible from special interests. Not only could she leverage that money to create legislation helping the special interests, she can also use her own position to make large sums of money.
After figuring out what she could get away with as a congressperson, AOC flipped the script. The asked the panel is there is anything stopping the president from participating in the same shady tactics. The answer was no.
AOC is using her time in Congress to expose the parts of politics that have long been hidden from the American people.
AOC has spoken up about issues like marijuana legalization, climate change, and the need for fair wages that provide people enough to live on. However, she is also shedding light on some questionable practices by lobbyist and congressional colleagues.
Her use of social media has brought the real day-to-day of politics to all of our newsfeeds. Not only have we seen the process of getting your office in the Capitol building, we’ve even seen moments like the tweet above. Lobbyists hiring people to hold their spot in line for congressional hearings so they can put pressure on legislators to do as they wish and taking space away from the American public who wish to voice their opinions and concerns.
You can watch AOC’s full questioning of Cohen in the video below.
AOC came to Congress with many people in both parties questioning her ability to legislate. It seems fair to say that AOC is surprising her doubters and has become a very important voice in American politics. It has only been two months since she was sworn into Congress and she is already making major waves and causing major change.