2.28.19 Michael Cohen Publicly Testifies Before Congress

Michael Cohen Publicly Testifies Before Congress

On Wednesday, Michael Cohen, a former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump who will begin serving a three-year sentence for campaign finance violations and other financial crimes in May, appeared for public testimony before the House Oversight Committee in Washington, D.C. The exchanges between Cohen and Republican members, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), were often tense. At one point, Cohen told Jordan, “I just find it interesting sir, that between yourself and your colleagues, that not one question so far since I’m here has been asked about President Trump. That’s actually why I thought I was coming today. Not to confess the mistakes that I’ve made.” Cohen’s testimony was also marked by repeated references to ongoing investigations into Trump by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and special counsel Robert Mueller. Throughout his testimony, Cohen admitted that he broke the law on behalf of the president. In the 2018 American Values Survey, PRRI found that 39 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Mueller, compared to 45 percent who say they have an unfavorable opinion and 14 percent who say they have not heard of Mueller. Nearly six in ten (59 percent) Democrats, compared to only 17 percent of Republicans, say their opinion of Mueller is positive overall. 
Report: More Than 4,500 Sex Abuse Allegations Levied by Migrant Children

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) released data from the Department of Health and Human Services showing that underage migrant children in government custody reported over 4,500 allegations of sexual abuse and harassment between 2015 and 2018. Nearly 1,300 of these reports were later referred to the FBI. While many incidents involved abuse between children, 178 complaints were made against staff. According to NPR’s John Burnett, the FBI maintains that “the vast majority” of the complaints were unfounded. The abuse allegations are the latest in a series of scandals surrounding migrant detention. In 2018 a PRRI survey found that Americans are largely opposed to an immigration border policy that separates children from their parents and charges parents as criminals when they enter the country without permission. About one in four (26 percent) of Americans say they favor such a policy, while more than seven in ten (72 percent) are opposed.
The Next Mayor of Chicago Will Be a Black Woman

Following a Tuesday night concession from former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, it’s clear that the next mayor of Chicago will be a black woman. Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will face off in a runoff election in early April. Daley’s father and brother were once Chicago mayors, and his family is considered an Illinois political dynasty. After Daley’s concession, Lightfoot told supporters, “This is what change looks like.” Lightfoot, if elected, would also become the city’s first openly gay mayor. PRRI data from 2018 show that 50 percent of Americans believe that electing more women to political office would make things better for the country. Twenty-nine percent believe that electing more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people would make things better in the U.S. Forty-four percent of Americans believe that electing more racial and ethnic minorities would be better for the country.
“Meet the Press” Blog Looks at PRRI data

A recent post on NBC’s “Meet the Press” blog includes recent PRRI data showing that one in five (21 percent) Americans say they seldom or never interact with someone of a different race or ethnicity. “Meet the Press” hosts point out that 19 percent of young people, 30 percent of seniors, 13 percent of Democrats, and 21 percent of Republicans have not had a recent interaction with someone who doesn’t share their race. They write, “For all the talk about urban elites living in a bubble — and we get it — don’t forget about that OTHER bubble of a not-insignificant share of Americans who rarely encounter someone different than themselves.”