Two top Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Friday demanded committee Chairman Elijah Cummings hold former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen accountable for his “perjury-laden” testimony before the panel earlier this year.
Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina say Cohen lied about seven topics during the Feb. 27 hearing. They also say Mr. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, has not followed through on his promise to hold Cohen accountable if he did lie to the committee.
“If he came in here and lied, I would nail him to the cross,” Mr. Cummings said at the hearing.
But Mr. Jordan and Mr. Meadows said Cohen did exactly that. They say Cohen lied when he testified that he did not seek a pardon from President Trump and, later, when he said he did not want a position in the administration.
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, later contradicted his client, saying the pardon issue was raised with the president’s legal team.
Separately, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Meadows say three people dispute Cohen’s claim that he did not pursue a White House job.
“We can only assume that you worry that acknowledging Cohen’s lies would undermine the investigations on which they are based and ultimately undercut your partisan attacks upon the president,” the two wrote in a letter to Mr. Cummings. “We hope that you will reconsider your decision, put the institutional interests of the committee ahead of your political goals, and do what you promised to do.”
“I do not see the need for further action — at least at this time,” he said.
The day after Cohen’s testimony, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Meadows referred him to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation. Mr. Cummings refused to join the referral and last month sent the two Republicans a letter saying he considered the matter “closed.”
Mr. Jordan and Mr. Meadows blasted the chairman for his letter.
“You may consider this matter ‘closed’ because you want it to go away. But respectfully, you invited Michael Cohen before the committee and you must live with the consequences,” they wrote. “We warned you about the dangers of showcasing the testimony of a convicted liar. The stain of Cohen’s testimony will continue to tarnish the committee’s reputation and that of your chairmanship until you accept the overwhelming evidence that he lied and act to hold him accountable.”
Cohen is serving a three-year sentence in federal prison on a host of charges including lying to Congress, tax fraud and campaign finance violations.
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