‘The integrity of the Oversight Committee and entire House is at stake…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) House Democrats quashed a Republican effort to refer President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation.
The GOP effort, led by Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., was up for a roll-call vote on Wednesday, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., but was tabled by a 226–183 vote along party lines, according to CQ-Roll Call.
“The integrity of the Oversight Committee and entire House is at stake,” Green said on the House floor on Tuesday as he introduced the resolution.
“We must defend our honor, refer Michael Cohen’s testimony to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation and show the American people that the People’s House will not tolerate a man lying under oath,” he said.
Cohen—who already has been sentenced to three years in Congress on charges that include lying to Congress—acknowledged that he misled legislators again during his recent testimony.
He claimed he “never” sought a pardon from Trump but later admitted that he did. He said his use of the word “never” didn’t actually mean never, but only after a certain date.
In the unlikely event that it cleared the partisan Democrat firewall in the House, Green’s resolution would require House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., to submit an official transcript of Cohen’s Feb. 27 testimony to the DOJ for potential prosecution.
Cummings had repeatedly warned Cohen about lying to the committee, but he said the correction was sufficient and that he wouldn’t pursue perjury charges.
Cummings’s refusal to pursue Cohen’s perjury resulted in clashes between Democratic leadership and the outspoken Republicans on the Oversight committee, led by ranking minority member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
“During Cohen’s testimony he lied at least seven times, and yet the Chairman has yet to uphold his pledge of maintaining the integrity of our Committee in the face of these false statements that were given under oath,” Jordan said in a statement.
Democrats have accused Republicans of using Cohen’s lack of credibility to distract and undermine ongoing investigations into President Donald Trump’s alleged involvement with Russia—a theory dismissed by special counsel Robert Mueller‘s report.
Cohen is currently set to begin his three-year prison term next week after pleading guilty in 2018 to multiple charges of financial fraud and lying to Congress about the timeline of negotiations in 2015 and 2016 for a Trump Tower in Moscow.