Learning With: ‘Michael Cohen Accuses Trump of Expansive Pattern of Lies and Criminality’

Learning With: ‘Michael Cohen Accuses Trump of Expansive Pattern of Lies and Criminality’

Before reading the article:

Michael D. Cohen, the former lawyer and fixer for President Donald J. Trump, took the stand on Feb. 27 to testify publicly against Mr. Trump before the House Oversight Committee.

Did you watch the hearing? If not, watch the video above to view some of the key moments. (If you want more, you can watch some of the hearing’s most contentious exchanges here.)

What were your observations and thoughts as you watched the video or the hearing live? Which moments stood out to you?

Now, read the article, “Michael Cohen Accuses Trump of Expansive Pattern of Lies and Criminality,” and answer the following questions:

1. What is Mr. Cohen’s relationship to Mr. Trump?

2. What were three of the most incriminating accusations Mr. Cohen made against Mr. Trump in his testimony?

3. Republicans and Democrats had very different views of the purpose of the hearing and of Mr. Cohen. How did their views differ?

4. Why did Mr. Cohen say he continued to work for Mr. Trump and “do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong?” What did he say caused his change of heart?

5. During the hearing, many Republican senators and Trump supporters questioned Mr. Cohen’s credibility. Why do they think his testimony may not be believable? Give at least two examples from the article.

6. Mr. Cohen laid out a series of actions by Mr. Trump that bolster previous allegations and presented documents to corroborate his account. What evidence did he provide and why is it important to his testimony?

7. Mr. Cohen also made statements about Mr. Trump’s character. Taken together, along with the other accusations Mr. Cohen made against Mr. Trump, what picture do these remarks paint of the president?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

— After watching and reading about the hearing, do you find Mr. Cohen’s testimony credible? Why or why not?

— In your opinion, what was the most important thing that came out of the hearing? Why do you believe it is so significant?

— If you have a few minutes, you might watch House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings’s closing statement. In reflecting on the day’s proceedings, he said, “As a country, we are so much better than this.” What do you think he means by this? Do you agree? Why or why not?