‘A spectacular and brazen attempt to knowing and willfully testify falsely and fictitiously to numerous material facts…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Two of President Donald Trump’s closest congressional allies referred Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen to the Justice Department on Thursday, because he “committed perjury and knowingly made false statements” during his testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.
Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., both of whom sit on the Oversight Committee, wrote to Attorney General William Barr urging him to consider criminal prosecution against Cohen.
They listed several false claims Cohen made during his sworn testimony before Congress, including his denial of committing bank fraud; his claim that he didn’t want a job in the Trump White House; and his assertion that he did not have contracts with foreign entities.
“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,” the letter reads. “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. 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 told the committee that he did not want a job in the Trump administration.
“I was extremely proud to be the personal attorney for the President of the United States of America,” he said. “I did not want to go to the White House.”
Meadows and Jordan said this claim is “demonstrably, materially, and intentionally false,” considering prosecutors in the Southern District of New York found that Cohen had “privately told friends and colleagues, including in seized text messages, that he expected to be given a prominent role and title in the new administration.”
Cohen also claimed he “never defrauded any bank,” but Jordan and Meadows said Manhattan prosecutors “specifically referred to Mr. Cohen’s crimes of making false statements to financial institutions as ‘bank fraud.’”
Cohen has been under criminal investigation for his personal business dealings since April 2018.
In August, he pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.
Meadows also said Cohen violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by not disclosing his foreign contacts — contacts Cohen repeatedly denied, despite entering into contractual agreements with the Bank of Kazakhstan and the Korea Aerospace Industries of South Korea.
I just entered a referral for criminal investigation of Michael Cohen, who violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by illegally lobbying on behalf of foreign entities without registering
Cohen talks about “blind loyalty.” His real blind loyalty? It’s to the almighty dollar.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 27, 2019
“Mr. Cohen’s testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Reform was a spectacular and brazen attempt to knowing and willfully testify falsely and fictitiously to numerous material facts,” Jordan and Meadows wrote. “His testimony included intentionally false statements designed to make himself look better on a national stage. Mr. Cohen’s prior conviction for lying to Congress merits a heightened suspicion that he has yet again testified falsely before Congress.”