Michael Cohen showed us why Robert Mueller is so important

Michael Cohen showed us why Robert Mueller is so important
© Getty Images

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE, testified on Capitol Hill last week. The hearing focused on his relationship with the president, their previous business endeavors, and the extent of which Trump knew of any illegal activity within his campaign. To be sure, Cohen may not be the best witness to lay claim against Trump. Cohen is slated to go to jail in two months, and his conviction is in part a result of lying in front of the very body he has now testified in front of. Despite the politics of the hearing, Cohen gave an inside look into the Trump campaign with compelling evidence and a newfound desire to openly share the truth.

His testimony reinforces something that has been consistently clear, which is the importance of understanding Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election through the special counsel investigation led by Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE, who appears to be doing exactly what he was asked by following the facts. This is evidenced by the dozens of indictments that have already been issued, the guilty verdicts from Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortPaul Manafort's former son-in-law sentenced to 9 years in prison for scamming Dustin Hoffman, others NSC official testified there was 'no doubt' Trump pushed quid pro quo Prosecutor says Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump as trial opens MORE and Rick Gates, as well as the ongoing investigation of other Trump associates.

ADVERTISEMENT

There remain the concerns that the American people hope the Mueller investigation will address. Was there Russian collusion? If so, how did it occur and what was the role of the Trump campaign, and particularly the president? The answers to these questions are far more important than who is going to be arrested, who is going to be impeached, and who we are going to demonize. From these questions, there have already been some charges, some convictions, and potentially new charges.

But as an American analyst and participant in our politics, I would like to know with precision the nature and extent of Russian involvement in our election, the nature and extent of complicity within the Trump campaign and others within the United States, and an overarching view of whether our election process was compromised and if the results were tainted.

The answers to these questions are imperative so we can avoid a similar situation in the future, take steps to protect our elections and political parties, and also as Americans have an honest and retrospective narrative of what actually happened so we know if we had a fair and democratic election in 2016 or if that election in any way was fatally compromised.

The special counsel investigation is now the only hope of getting these answers in an unbiased way. The testimony that we heard from Cohen has emphasized the importance of these results, and we as Americans must demand that the truth is discovered. In his opening statement, Cohen explained how Trump had convinced him to act illegally for as long as a decade. Cohen told lawmakers, “I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong.”

Members of the Trump campaign were blinded by his celebrity status as a global real estate developer, television personality, and emerging political candidate. Those who have been cast to the sidelines of his inner network have finally come to see just how manipulated they once were. Indeed, a recent Politico and Morning Consult poll found that 68 percent of voters support releasing the special counsel report. The findings from the poll show that Americans are seeking real answers to what happened in 2016.

Despite his history of working with Trump to avoid complying with laws, acting unfaithfully to business partners, and hiding extramarital affairs, it is clear that the Cohen hearing was a service to the American people. Reality has set in for Cohen that he is going to jail. He misled millions of Americans and helped Trump cover up business in Russia despite saying the project had ended. The Mueller investigation is what the public, and our government, can only hope will shed the most light into the 2016 presidential election. Republicans and Democrats should welcome the special counsel report to ensure that Americans know the whole truth.

Douglas E. Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) served as a pollster for President Clinton. A longtime political consultant, he is also a Fox News contributor and the author of several books, including “Putin’s Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence.”