Wednesday was a day that will live in infamy.
America wasn't attacked by another military, but she was attacked. America was attacked by Representatives in Congress who don't doubt the veracity of the statements of a man who ran the Trump Organization, was deputy finance director for the Republican National Committee and represented the President as an attorney. Our country was not attacked by those who believe the President is innocent of these charges. We were attacked by men and women who know the evidence and testimony shared Wednesday point to a President that is guilty of criminal acts before and after he was elected and they don't care.
As Michael Cohen said, these Representatives have supplanted him as the people now responsible for covering up questionable and probably criminal acts of a man who benefits from their acquiescence.
Cohen who knew President Donald Trump as well as anyone, called the man a racist, a conman and a cheat.
Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows were the most aggressive in their defense of Trump. They fought to postpone the hearing. They fought testimony being shared. They fought for a man who they know was up to no good.
As the President's former "fixer" told the Republicans on the committee, "I did the same thing for ten years that you're doing now."
Cohen brought the receipts - literally. He presented checks that were signed by Trump and his son that were intended to reimburse Cohen for paying off a porn star to stay silent about an affair she had with the President long before he was performing at the National Prayer Breakfast.
The problem is not that a man strayed from his marital vows. He paid off the dalliance during and after his election to the highest office in the land. We have seen evidence to support those claims.
Cohen has the checks. Stormy Daniels cashed out. The dots are now connected.
The issue is what Congress will do with the information.
Some are saying impeachment is imminent. With a Republican majority that is more interested in partisan power than personal probity in the Senate, the impeachment would go nowhere fast.
I'm not sure what the next step will or should be. A person of character would step down in order to avoid embarrassing himself, his family and the country further. But voters didn't elect a man of character. Far from it.
Elijah Cummings summarized a hope for the future to which we can all cling. Cummings is a Democrat but his words have to ring true with all of us.
"When we are dancing with the angels, the question will be asked," Rep. Cummings said. "'In 2019, what did we do to make sure our democracy stayed intact?'"
Cummings went on to call on America to return to better days.
"I know it is painful going to prison. I know it must be difficult being called a rat. The President called you a rat," Cummings told Cohen. "We're better than that. We really are! I am hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we really want, that we want to leave to our children so they can do better than we did."
Cummings and Cohen were both emotional during the representative's final comments.
"I know that this has been hard. I know that you face a lot and you are worried about your family," he told the witness. "Hopefully, this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Michael Cohen, a better Donald Trump and a better United States of America.
We have got to get back to normal."
Obviously, the return to normal - where criminal acts by those in power aren't excused or shrugged off - will be a process that will take time. We didn't fall from grace overnight.
Returning to the better angels of our nature won't be quick, easy or even painless. I hope people in both parties agree that it will be worth it.
Wednesday's hearing was a bad day for America. Hopefully, better days are ahead.