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House Republicans Call for DOJ Probe into Michael Cohen's Allegedly False Testimony

 May 9, 2024

Republican leaders are demanding a Justice Department investigation into Michael Cohen for alleged falsehoods in his congressional testimonies.

Amid legal battles involving former President Donald Trump, two top House Republicans have accused Michael Cohen of perjury, prompting a call for further investigation by the Department of Justice, as Fox News reports.

In recent developments, Jim Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, together with James Comer, leader of the House Oversight Committee, submitted a referral to the DOJ regarding Cohen’s prior testimonies to Congress. They express doubts about the reliability of Cohen's accounts, particularly in light of ongoing cases against Trump.

Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, had admitted to multiple charges back in 2018, including campaign finance violations and making false statements to Congress, which resulted in a three-year prison sentence.

The referral highlighted concerns that Cohen’s credibility is compromised, noting his central role in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's prosecution of Trump.

New Evidence Challenges Cohen’s Past Testimonies

On Feb. 27, 2019, Cohen appeared before the House Oversight Committee, where he faced accusations of lying. He also provided testimony during a deposition with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the same year.

Cohen’s alleged falsehoods include denials of seeking a White House position, involvement in creating a supportive Twitter account, and not disclosing foreign government contracts. In a significant turn, he conceded in October 2023 to fabricating parts of his testimony in a separate legal matter involving Trump.

This admission prompted additional referrals by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and committee member Elise Stefanik, accusing Cohen of perjury in October 2023.

Trump’s Legal Team Responds to Charges

Trump’s legal struggles continue as he faces charges from Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, who is leveraging Cohen’s testimonies as key evidence. Trump consistently refutes allegations that he manipulated business records to disguise payments made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

During an interaction, Trump's attorney Alina Habba questioned Cohen’s reliability, highlighting his admission of lying under oath during his 2019 testimony.

Responding to questions about these inconsistencies, Cohen acknowledged, "Yes," affirming he had lied under oath.

Implications for Congressional Oversight

The implications of Cohen’s actions are far-reaching, affecting the integrity of congressional oversight. Jordan and Comer emphasized in their letter the necessity of truthful testimonies for effective governance, stating, “Congress cannot perform its oversight function if witnesses who appear before its committees do not provide truthful testimony."

They further questioned the actions taken by the DOJ to address Cohen’s previous false statements to Congress, arguing that reliance on testimony from a self-confessed liar undermines the justice process.

Trump also addressed the payments in question during an interview, describing them as legitimate legal expenses. "They call it a legal expense — and that’s what it was. It was a legal expense. It was legal fees paid to a lawyer — that’s called a legal expense," he stated.

Legal and Political Repercussions Unfold

The ongoing controversy surrounding Cohen and his testimonies casts a long shadow over the legal proceedings against Trump, raising questions about the role of truth in judicial processes.

As the DOJ considers the recent referral, the integrity and outcome of investigations into Trump’s actions hinge significantly on the credibility of witnesses like Cohen.

The political ramifications of these legal battles are also becoming increasingly apparent, affecting public perception and political dynamics as the cases unfold.

In conclusion, the referral by Jordan and Comer to the DOJ underscores the significant challenges in ensuring truthful testimonies in highly charged political cases. The veracity of Cohen’s past statements remains a pivotal element in the cases against Trump, reflecting broader concerns about the credibility of legal processes in politically sensitive environments.