Tlaib and Pressley Put Racism on Trial During Cohen Hearing

Anticipation grew as Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib waited their turn to question President Trump’s former attorney at his hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform yesterday — and they did not disappoint.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earned praise for shrewdly using her time to lay the groundwork for further investigation into Trump’s financials, including his elusive tax returns. Picking up on fellow Democrats’ previous lines of questioning, she queried Cohen about Trump’s efforts to deliberately misrepresent his assets. Most valuably, she grounded her questions with follow-ups establishing routes for obtaining more information from other members of Trump’s inner circle and key documents, circumventing Republicans’ efforts to discredit Cohen’s testimony.

While Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats like Representatives Speier and Rouda used their five minutes to drill down on specific issues, Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib joined other Democrats in using their platform to hit back against Republicans’ efforts to sink the proceedings. Pressley brought up the shuttered Trump Foundation’s abuse of state and federal laws to turn the charity into a “personal piggybank,” referencing the New York Attorney General’s ongoing lawsuit. Tlaib used the majority of her time to underline the criminality of the Trump administration, seeking to elicit agreement from Cohen.

Both women used the remainder of their time to challenge Rep. Mark Meadows, who attempted to refute Cohen’s statement that Trump was a racist by pointing to the presence of Lynne Patton, who is Black, in Trump’s administration. Patton currently serves in the Department of Housing and Urban Development and has a longstanding association with the Trump Organization.

Listing a number of Trump’s racist statements, Pressley asked Cohen if having a Black friend dispelled the evidence that Trump was a racist. Tlaib spoke more…

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