A pair of conservative Republican lawmakers on Thursday accused disgraced former Donald Trump lawyer Michael cohen of committing perjury in a House hearing a day earlier, and asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate.
In a six-page letter, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows wrote to Attorney General William Barr that Cohen ‘committed perjury and knowingly made false statements during his testimony.’
Cohen said Wednesday in a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing that he ‘never defrauded any bank’ while he was funding a hush-money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.
He claimed that his testimony against President Trump wasn’t motivated by revenge for excluding him from top White House jobs, saying he never wanted one.
In a pre-hearing disclosure form that Cohen signed, he declared that he had no commercial contracts for money ‘originating with a foreign government.’
And he testified Wednesday that an employee of a technology firm created a ‘Women For Cohen’ Twitter account for him, and that ‘I didn’t actually set that up.’
Jordan and Meadows, both leaders within the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told Barr that all of those statements were lies.
Cohen will begin a three-year prison term in May for a list of federal crimes including tax evasion and lying to Congress.
Most of the Republican committee members on Wednesday railed against the Democratic majority for calling as a witness a man who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress once already.
In Thursday’s letter, Jordan and Meadows asserted that ‘[s]everal times during his testimony, Mr. Cohen denied committing various fraudulent acts that he has pleaded guilty to in federal court.’
Cohen’s contention that ‘I never defrauded any bank’ raised a red flag. One of his guilty pleas was to a charge of making false statements to a banking institution, which prosecutors referred to as ‘bank fraud’ in his plea agreement.
He insisted Wednesday that he never wanted to work in Trupm’s White House, barking denials at Jordan, the committee’s ranking Republican, and drawing howls of protest from people who knew him during the post-election transition period in late 2016.
After Cohen blasted Trump as a ‘racist’ and a ‘conman,’ Jordan berated him, asking the disgraced former attorney how long he worked in the White House.
‘I never worked in the White House,’ Cohen replied.
‘And that’s the point, isn’t it, Mr. Cohen?’ asked Jordan. ‘You wanted to work in the White House, but you didn’t get brought to the dance.’
‘You didn’t get a job in the White House,’ he pressed. ‘Now you’re acting like everyone else who doesn’t have a job … like Andy McCabe and James Comey.’ McCabe and Comey are former FBI officials who wrote scorching tell-all books after Trump fired them.
Cohen insisted ‘No, sir’ over and over to the idea that he was an embittered outsider, finally taking revenge on Trump for excluding him after a decade of insider status.
But more than two years earlier, he had tweeted video of a CNN interview in which he said he hoped to land a job with the incoming administration.
‘Oh, I certainly hope so,’ he told host Chris Cuomo at the time, adding that he would ‘a hundred percent’ accept a position. None came.
Asked by Cuomo if the two would see each other again, Cohen replied: ‘Hopefully it’ll be in Washington.’
Former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen is pictured arriving for a closed-door House hearing on Thursday; he insisted during an oipen hearing on Wednesday that he wasn’t embittered by being passed over for a top White House job
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (right) grilled Cohen on Wednesday, blasting him for turning on Trump
Cohen appeared on CNN after the 2016 election, saying he hoped to move to Washington with the incoming administration
Cohen himsef tweeted the CNN clip in 2016, more than two years before claiming under oath that he never wanted to be White House chief of staff or anything else in the West Wing
Eric Trump, the president’s second son, scorched Cohen by tweeting that he was ‘lobbying EVERYONE’ to support his bid for the White House chief of staff job
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Cohen was ‘totally dejected’ when he was left without a chair in the presidential transition’s game of musical chairs, hinting at a motive for his disloyal testimony
On CNN, host Jake Tapper said after the hearing that Cohen – who will begin a three-year prison sentence in May foir lying to Congress – was lying again.
‘The issue there is that one sentence: “I did not want to go to the White House.” All of our reporting suggests that’s not true,’ Tapper said.
‘He very much wanted a job in the White House,’ correspondent Dana Bash added.
Trump family members and campaign insiders seared Cohen in real-time, tweeting about their recollections of Cohen’s campaign for a top West Wing job.
‘Michael was lobbying EVERYONE to be “Chief of Staff.” It was the biggest joke in the campaign and around the office. Did he just perjure himself again?’ asked Eric Trump, the president’s second son.
‘Hahahaha Michael Cohen begged to work at the White House and everyone knows it,” tweeted his elder brother Donald Trump Jr.
Conservative activist David Bossie said Wednesday that Cohen personally asked him to help him win the chief of staff job
Darrell Scott, a pastor in Trump’s inner circle, wrote that Cohen ‘BEGGED me’ to intervene with Trump and make sure he had a White House job
Cohen appeared Wednesday on Capitol Hill in a must-watch House hearing, trashing the president he served in a legal capacity for 10 years
‘It really was the biggest joke of the entire transition. The beginning of his bitterness was when he realized that was never going to happen,’ he added.
Cohen ‘lobbied dozens for the job and was totally dejected when he didn’t get it. That he could once again lie under oath is almost as sad as him thinking he would ever actually get the job.’
David Bossie, the conservative activist who first introduced Trump to his first campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and was at one point considered a potential White House deputy chief of staff, said Cohen personally lobbied him for the top job.
‘Michael Cohen asked me to support his effort to be Chief of Staff when I helped run the Presidential Transition Team. He perjured himself today,’ Bossie tweeted.
Arthur Schwartz, a Republican consultant close to the Trump family, caled Cohen a ‘LIAR.’
‘He complained to me on numerous occasions about the fact that POTUS didn’t offer him a job at the WH,’ Schwartz tweeted.
‘Everyone on or around the campaign either heard him talking about a job in the WH or heard the jokes about him thinking he was up for a job in the WH. He’s a professional liar — he can’t help himself.’
Darrell Scott, an evangelical pastor with close Trump ties, tweeted: ‘Michael Cohen asked…no, BEGGED me REPEATEDLY, to ask the POTUS to give him a job in the Administration! He’s STILL lying under oath!’
And Bo Dietl, a former detective and onetime Fox News Channel talking-head, said on Twitter: I know Michael Cohen personally for many years and he told me several times that he was very angry and upset that he didn’t get a post in the WH and that he “would do what he has to do now to protect his family”.’