December 10, 2019

Geoff Bennett got a little more than he asked for when he interviewed Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on MSNBC earlier Tuesday. No, it wasn't lame prop comedy involving a bucket of chicken, thank the good Colonel Sanders in the sky. It was a swift and harsh rebuke for playing the GOP House Minority Leader's press conference in its entirety.

Rep. Cohen joined Bennett after Reps. McCarthy and Scalise spoke to reporters in response to the official release of Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump. As usual, reporters in the room just swallowed the lies the GOP reps spewed about the IG report without pushing back in the slightest, and MSNBC ran the thing completely unchallenged. When it was over, Bennett asked Rep. Cohen about the language of the articles, but Rep. Cohen had something else to say.

BENNETT: When I was talking to my sources last night about what articles Democrats would ultimately settle upon, I was told that one of the reasons why Democrats chose to focus on the narrow issue of Ukraine, and not have a return of the Mueller report is they decided to lead with the best case and the simplest evidence. The decision was that Ukraine was that. Congressman, Chairman Nadler seemed to allude to the Russia investigation findings when he outlined the abuse of power article, saying Trump's Ukraine dealings, Nadler said, were consistent with his behavior in the 2016 election. Should we expect in this abuse of power article of impeachment, should we expect there to be more links in there, to your committee's own work, your committee's own investigation of the Russia question?

REP. COHEN: There's language that is "continuing conduct" from the previous elections. "Russia, if you're listening." There was collusion. He welcomed what the Russians gave him, and they used it. Time will show that there's probably more there than Mueller could finally get to. Bill Barr ended the Mueller investigation. If it had time to go on, who knows what it would have found.

I found it unbelievable listening to that press conference, and that you put it on for the whole length, unless you're waiting for lightning to strike, because, biblically, it should've. I don't understand why you'd have that propaganda on for that long. The Republicans have nothing but propaganda to put out. They can't defend the facts, so they go after the procedure and put out lies. The FBI did not show that they were spying on the president. That was not true. The IG's report shows the FBI made certain small mistakes, but they did NOT make a mistake in investigating the contacts to Russia with the Trump campaign. The FBI should NOT be sullied.

Bennett was a little stunned, and looked like he didn't quite know what to do with that, so he just pretended it didn't happen and moved on to his next question about the impeachment's timeline.

But since the reporters in the room didn't say it, and the news person on MSNBC didn't say it, Rep. Steve Cohen must have decided, "Well, sh*t, SOMEONE has to say it..." and HE took on the responsibility that SHOULD have been shouldered by the alleged journalists. That is, he separated fact from fiction, explaining that while the report showed the FBI made some errors, it was NOT a mistake to investigate the campaign's contacts with Russia. The mistakes were in the application process of the FISA warrants themselves, but even the report concluded that the mistakes didn't necessarily impact the approval of the warrants. So overall, the report concluded overwhelmingly that the FBI DID HAVE good reason, and acted without political bias in opening the investigation into Russia's interference in our 2016 election. AND he stood up for the FBI.

God forbid the people we entrust with transmitting the news to the public should make all that clear, though.

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