Ninety-nine percent of members of Congress are unable to ask questions that elicit new information from witnesses.— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) February 27, 2019
Never ask a question you don't know the answer to:
“You called Donald Trump a cheat in your opening testimony,” Green told Cohen. “What would you call yourself?”
“A fool,” Cohen replied.
Never testify for the witness in the way you ask the question, or appeal to the jury by telling them what they just heard is not what they just heard:
Green then yielded his time to [Rep. Jim] Jordan, who returned to the charges against Cohen.
“We just had a five-minute debate where Mr. Cohen disputes what the Southern District of New York found,” Jordan exclaimed. “The judge found that he was actually guilty of committing bank fraud.”
“His remorse is nonexistent!” Jordan continued. “He just debated a member of Congress, saying, I really didn’t do anything wrong with the false bank things that I’m guilty of and going to prison for.”
“Mr. Jordan!” Cohen interrupted. “That’s not what I said. And you know that’s not what I said. What I said, I pled guilty and I take responsibility for my actions.”
“Shame on you, Mr. Jordan,” the witness added. “That’s not what I said. What I said is I took responsibility and I take responsibility.”
“I will be away from my wife and family for years,” Cohen said. “I pled guilty.”
It takes a special level of skill to make Michael Cohen into a sympathetic character.
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