After spending hours Wednesday seeking to undermine former Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s credibility during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee, committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) referred the hearing to Attorney General William Barr over what they said was “significant evidence” that Cohen had lied to Congress.
Among the several alleged lies the Republican committee members listed, some stuck out. Cohen, they alleged, lied to Congress by claiming in verbal testimony “that he was a good lawyer who understood the need to present his client with sound legal advice,” despite admitting in written testimony that he made a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels “without bothering to consider whether that was improper.”
In all, Jordan and Meadows listed five more examples of Cohen’s alleged lies in addition to the allegation that his verbal and written testimony clashed: His claim that “I never defrauded any bank,” despite pleading guilty to making false statements to a bank; his claim that he never wanted to be White House chief of staff, despite attorneys in the Southern District of New York asserting that Cohen “expected” an administration role; his claim that he didn’t “actually set that up,” referring to the @WomenForCohen Twitter account he commissioned; his claim on congressional paperwork that he didn’t have any contracts with foreign governments; and his claim that “blind loyalty,” not “personal greed and ambition” was to blame for the crimes he committed.
Cohen attorney Lanny Davis told TPM in a statement:
“Mr. Cohen testified truthfully before the House Oversight Committee. He took full responsibility for his guilty pleas. He also backed up much of his testimony with documents. It may not be surprising that two pro-Trump Committee members known have a baseless criminal referral. In my opinion, it is a sad misuse of the criminal justice system with the aura of pure partisanship.”
Some of Jordan and Meadows’ claims appeared fairly thin: Cohen claimed upon his sentencing that “blind loyalty” was to blame for his crimes, and he simply repeated the phrase on Wednesday. Cohen also testified Wednesday that his lawyers had advised him that his contracts with foreign companies did not originate with foreign governments, and therefore did not have to be declared.
Read Jordan and Meadows’ letter below:
This post has been updated.
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