Republicans ask Justice Department to probe Cohen’s oversight testimony

Michael Cohen. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/

March 1 (UPI) — Two Republican members of the House oversight committee who took part in grilling Michael Cohen this week asked the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer for allegedly lying to the panel.

Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Cohen “committed perjury and knowingly made false statements” during his Wednesday testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. He appeared at the hearing to answer questions about his time as Trump’s personal lawyer, including making hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Trump.

Jordan and Meadows accused Cohen of making statements “in direct contradiction to assertions” contained in his plea agreements. Cohen pleaded guilty in August to nine charges related to his role paying off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal for the alleged affairs and failing to report income to the Internal Revenue Service.

He later admitted to lying to Congress as part of its probe into Russia’s alleged interference during the 2016 presidential election, an issue some members of the oversight committee took him to task for Wednesday.

“There’s no truth with you whatsoever,” Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., said during the hearing. “Liar, liar, pants on fire. No one should ever listen to you and give you credibility.”

Jordan and Meadows enumerated several instances in which they said Cohen lied during Wednesday’s testimony, including when he said he never defrauded a bank. The lawmakers’ letter to the Justice Department pointed to Cohen’s guilty plea to one count of making false statements to a banking institution.

They said Cohen lied when he told the committee he didn’t seek a job in the Trump White House, citing tweets from the former lawyer’s acquaintances that said otherwise. They also accused him of lying when he said he didn’t direct anyone to set up the @WomenForCohen Twitter account and when he said he didn’t have any contracts with foreign governments in a form submitted before the committee hearing.

Additionally, Cohen’s verbal testimony during the hearing contracted his prepared remarks regarding the payment to Daniels, the letter said.

Finally, Jordan and Meadows said Cohen’s assertion that he committed crimes out of “blind loyalty” to Trump was inconsistent with New York prosecutors’ assessment that the he did so out of personal greed.

“In sum, Mr. Cohen’s testimony … was a spectacular and brazen attempt to knowing and willingly testify falsely and fictitiously to numerous material facts,” Jordan and Meadows’ letter said. “His testimony included intentionally false statements designed to make himself look better on a national stage.”

Cohen described Trump as a “racist,” “con man” and a “cheat” during his testimony before the oversight committee. He said he aced to benefit Trump and his presidential campaign out of misplaced loyalty.

“I am no longer your ‘fixer,’ Mr. Trump. I am going to prison and have shattered the safety and security that I tried so hard to provide for my family,” he said in prepared remarks. “My testimony certainly does not diminish the pain I caused my family and friends — nothing can do that.”

Trump’s campaign released a statement Wednesday calling into question Cohen’s credibility.

“Michael Cohen is a felon, a disbarred lawyer, and a convicted perjurer, who lied to both Congress and the special counsel in a ‘deliberate and premeditated’ fashion according to the special counsel’s office,” national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.

Cohen testified again Thursday before the House intelligence committee, which asked him to return Wednesday for another hearing. Rep. Jack Speier, D-Calif., a member of the committee confirmed next week’s hearing but declined to comment on what was discussed during the closed-door hearing.

“He is tired, and we’ve gotten through a quarter [of the questions],” she said.


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