Mainstream Media has focused upon the testimony of President Trump’s lawyer having 10 years of client-personal lawyer relationship. Michael Cohen testified for over 30 hours during the Congressional hearing broadcast live last week. In my view, the most important statement made by Michael Cohen was at the very end of his testimony when he revealed why he had volunteered to cooperate. He had to anyway because that House Committee has the authority to subpoena him.
Michael Cohen’s statement was (and I paraphrase what I recall hearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s Show last Thursday night, 02.28.2019): “I am the only one of four individuals going to jail for actions we took on behalf of my client, Donald J. Trump, who is a cheat, con man, and racist. He is a liar; and totally irresponsible. The complicity cost I am paying is very high: I lost my professional and community standing, personal integrity, my lawyer’s license; I may no longer practice law; my family will be severely impacted by my incapacity to ever earn a lawyer’s income; and I am the only one of four (4) Trump associates who has been indicted. I will serve a prison sentence. I think it is totally unfair for me to be the only one indicted and sentence to serve a prison term. That is why I chose to cooperate as a witness.”
Cohen had 10 years providing competent legal services to the Trump Enterprises. And Trump still threw him under the bus’s when Special Council Mueller had him testify. Recall that the FBI had raided his professional offices and home (using a search warrant signed by a Judge who decided enough probable cause existed). Records obtained included 3 years of Trump Enterprises financial records which allegedly reveal several criminal actions: Bank Fraud; Excessive valuation of property; and improper use of certain funds to pay for agreements to remain silent by Stormy Daniels to not reveal those sexual trysts with Trump.
What happened to Michael Cohen was earned by being complicit to doing what he was encouraged to do despite many actions allegedly being criminal and illegal.
Let me point out that regardless of which religion’s moral or ethical norms we learned, these norms emphasize the need to be honest and truthful (Do not be a false witness). Another behavioral standard is to not covet your neighbor’s property and do not steal. These are personal inter-relationship standards contained in the Decalogue (10 Commandments) which many learned when attending catechism instructions (mine was the Roman Catholic Church).
In today’s business practices, too many executives get away with being immoral and unethical. Consider those derivatives sold by certain Wall Street financial firms which were over-valued but nonetheless promoted as being worthy investments. When their overvaluation became apparent, it caused the global financial crisis which threatened the economies of many nations all over the world including USA. Former President George W. Bush included President-elect Barack Obama in those global financial recession orientation briefings because supportive actions needed to be undertaken during the early days of the 2009 Obama Administration. Public policy decisions were made to have the U.S. Treasury become the guarantor world-wide (which used the full faith and support of We, The People to stabilize all impacted financial systems, both domestic and in other nations. It was the American worker/consumer who supported what was done to thwart the distrust created by dishonesty and overvaluation practices. What astounded me was that no executive went to jail as a consequence of supporting dishonest actions which created those derivatives sold for more than the value falsely presented. Many economic transactions stopped because of total lack of confidence and trust levels. It
was the U.S. Treasury which was authorized to step up and be totally responsible during the initial days of the 2009 Obama Administration. Another 1930’s Great Depression was avoided thereby mitigating the potential collapse of many micro-economies.
Truthfulness, trust, and integrity are essential to having the confidence to make deals which deliver exchanges of value given for value received (lawyers call these exchanges quid pro quo). This exchange of values happens when bartering; making sales; entering into performance contracts; etc. Without trust, truthfulness or full integrity, it is very difficult for business transactions to happen regardless of how small or gigantic. These traits add up to being trustworthy and reliable.
Unfortunately, today too many individuals are cheats…and it may begin in a classroom cheating on a quiz/test. As a consequence, many of us learn to always be on guard at levels which cause stress. But, eventually, dishonesty reveals itself when inconsistencies begin to show up causing one to question the deal involved. And consequences follow as Michael Cohen personal experience demonstrates.
But then con men such as Trump trip over their own schemes crafted to obtain whatever they want regardless of the impact on others or the advice being provided. Trump knows that the U.S. Congress has the responsibility to allocate tax revenues to fund (underwrite) projects like “That Wall”. The U.S. Congress has not allocated funds to build that wall and yet Trump persists in trying to get what he wants by using funds allocated for other functions. Trump’s lack of integrity; his inability to be the public servant who is a leader…all emanate because he seems to be incapable of honesty and truthfulness. Who trusts him? The voters of this nation must never ever elect such a person to be their President again.
In addition, Trump demonstrates his persona’s lack of empathy and sympathy. Cohen, once not his personal lawyer, becomes someone who is disposed of by being thrown under the bus’.
Trump also practices nepotism. When Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, whose security clearance was denied routinely; Trump intervened resulting in that security clearance to be established. This is part of his trait that Trump asks his appointees to be loyal to me (Trump) rather than being loyal to the nation as a public servant. His family members were inappropriately included in several meetings dealing with this nation’s international interests. My projection is that those family members picked up information and acquiring business leads which all led to making deals benefiting Trump enterprises…all of which are being investigating for obstruction of justice and abuses of power.
As a consequence of habitually dealing from a position of great advantage, Trump has used all that Presidential influence to deal with others from a dominant position who gets away with being dishonest and untruthful…with the likelihood that he gets away with false facts and fake data. These forms of dishonesty and untruthfulness eventually become transparent (i.e., exposed) and lead to being regarded as being not worthy of one’s trust. Therefore, Trump should not be re-elected during 2020.
Big government is not the problem these days; it is all those whose interest is not public service but rather personal gain. As a result, these individuals soon neglect conducting the people’s business in a manner that implements good Samaritan stewardship’.
The role of truth, honesty, integrity and trust is evident. They are all intangible traits required if effective governance is to benefit “We, The People”.