Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan say planned Michael Cohen testimony a ‘made-for-television’ publicity stunt
Two House Republicans said Thursday Michael Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, a longtime Clinton associate, is pushing President Trump’s former fixer to testify before lawmakers solely to share anecdotes about working for Trump.
Reps. Jim Jordan, Ohio, and Mark Meadows, North Carolina, lodged the complaint in a letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Cohen will appear before three congressional panels next month before reporting to federal prison. He will voluntarily testify before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session on February 8 and has tentatively agreed to publicly testify before the House Oversight Committee on February 7. The Senate Intelligence Committee has also subpoenaed him to appear on February 12.
But Mr. Meadows and Mr. Jordan said the Oversight Committee hearing is nothing more than a political show since Cohen is prohibited from discussing active investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and prosecutors from the Southern District of New York.
They also claim the testimony is a publicity stunt pushed by Mr. Davis to embarrass Mr. Trump.
“We are perplexed by the authority you have ceded to Davis in producing this made-for-television hearing,” they wrote.
“The sole purpose of Cohen’s appearance before the committee is to allow Cohen to share his personal anecdotes about the time working for then-private citizen Donald J. Trump and his experiences after Mr. Trump became president,” the letter said adding that such testimony will likely be “unsatisfying” and “frustrating” for lawmakers.
The two Republicans also wrote that Mr. Davis told them Cohen didn’t want to testify, but he pushed him into doing it.
Cohen had initially agreed to appear before the House panel, but announced last week he would indefinitely postpone his testimony citing, “ongoing threats” against his family by Mr. Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giluliani.
Last month, a federal judge sentenced Cohen to three years in prison for multiple federal crimes, including lying to Congress and campaign finance violations.