Michael Cohen Referred to DOJ for Alleged Perjury During Anti-Trump Testimony
President's former lawyer suspected of lying under oath during congressional hearing
House Oversight Committee Republicans have referred Michael Cohen to the Department of Justice for a full investigation into his congressional testimony, over allegations that he committed perjury while under oath, again.
President Donald Trump's former lawyer Cohen is due to report to prison for a three-year sentence in May for previously lying to Congress, among other crimes.
Now, he's accused of perjuring himself again following his explosive statements on Wednesday, due to claims he lied during sworn testimony before the panel about a number of issues including his ambitions to work in the Trump administration and contracts with foreign entities.
Democrats were blasted for even entertaining the idea of a convicted perjurer publically testifying before Congress against the President of the United States, especially while Donald Trump was conducting sensitive peace talks in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Political pundit Piers Morgan slammed Cohen over his statements, calling him "a lying, sniveling, self-serving rat who STILL can’t tell the truth."
"It was a savage takedown, and Cohen clearly relished his moment in the global media spotlight," Morgan added.
"He repeatedly turned on the tears; he spoke again and again of his family, of his loss, of his fears for prison life.
"All of this was very carefully orchestrated and designed to make us feel sorry for him.
"I found myself laughing out loud at Cohen’s painfully insincere performance, not least because his own lawyer Lanny Davis was sitting right next to him looking like the cat that got every dollop of cream.
"Davis, of course, is best known for being one of the closest confidants and advisors to the Clintons.
"He took this gig for free, Cohen revealed.
"No sh*t, Sherlock!"
According to Fox News, Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., penned a letter Thursday to newly sworn-in Attorney General William Barr, citing evidence that Cohen “committed perjury” during his hearing before the committee on Wednesday.
“We write to refer significant evidence that Michael D. Cohen committed perjury and knowingly made false statements during his testimony before an Oversight and Reform Committee hearing,” they wrote.
“While testifying under oath, Mr. Cohen made what appear to be numerous willfully and intentionally false statements of material fact contradicted by the record established by the Justice Department in United States v. Cohen.”
They added: “Mr. Cohen’s testimony before the Committee at times was in direct contradiction to assertions contained in pleadings authored by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY.)
"There are other instances in which Mr. Cohen’s statements to the Committee were immediately contradicted by witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the subject matter.”
Cohen previously pleaded guilty to one count of lying to Congress, in relation to past statements before a Senate committee.
Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, countered in a statement Thursday that his client testified "truthfully" before the committee.
"He took full responsibility for his guilty pleas. He also backed up much of his testimony with documents," Davis said.
"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.”
In their letter, Jordan and Meadows detailed several allegedly false statements made by Cohen on Wednesday.
They cited his claim that he “never defrauded any bank,” contrasting that with Cohen’s plea agreement that referred to his crimes as “bank fraud.”
In addition to the false statement to Congress count, Cohen has pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a banking institution, one count of causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of excessive campaign contributions.
“This point—Mr. Cohen’s culpability for bank fraud—materially affects the Committee’s assessment of his credibility,” the lawmakers wrote.
Jordan and Meadows went on to claim that Cohen made false statements regarding his desire to work in the White House, or in some role in the Trump administration.
“Mr. Cohen repeatedly testified that he did not seek employment in the White House following President Trump’s election,” they wrote.
“This is demonstrably, materially, and intentionally false.”
During the hearing, Jordan scorched Cohen, claiming that he turned on President Trump because he didn’t land a job at the White House. Cohen, though, denied this and said he, instead, wanted to be “the personal attorney to the president.”
“I got exactly what I wanted,” Cohen said.
Following the exchange, the president’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, weighed in on Twitter, claiming Cohen was “lobbying EVERYONE to be ‘Chief of Staff,’” and that it was “the biggest joke of the entire transition.”
I told you that #cohen lobbied dozens for the job and was totally dejected when he didn’t get it.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 28, 2019
That he could once again lie under oath is almost as sad as him thinking he would ever actually get the job. https://t.co/ftTnxaLsjV
The letter also cited a tweet by former New York City Police detective Bo Dietl, who said Cohen told him “several times” that he was “very angry and upset” that he did not get a job in the White House.
The GOP lawmakers also cited Cohen’s failure to list foreign contracts on a “Truth and Testimony” form he was required to fill out before the hearing.
Further, the Republicans flagged testimony regarding the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
They claimed that while Cohen testified he was “a good lawyer who understood the need to present his client with sound legal advice,” he also said he made a payment to Daniels “without bothering to consider whether that was improper, much less whether it was the right thing to do.”
Jordan and Meadows also said that Cohen made a false statement regarding his involvement with the creation of the Twitter account, @WomenForCohen.
Cohen, on Wednesday, claimed he did not create the account, and someone from the firm RedFinch made it.
“We were having fun during a stressful time,” Cohen said Wednesday.
The Republicans countered that Cohen reportedly had asked someone to create the account to “elevate his profile.”
The letter said that Cohen's testimony "was a spectacular and brazen attempt to knowing and willfully testify falsely and fictitiously to numerous material facts."
They claimed the testimony included "intentionally false statements designed to make himself look better on a national stage," adding:
"Mr. Cohen's prior conviction for lying to Congress merits a heightened suspicion that he has yet again testified falsely before Congress."