Rep. Jim Jordan seeks new perjury charges against ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

February 28, 2019

Rep. Jim Jordan seeks new perjury charges against ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A day after leading House Republicans in a contentious cross-examination of President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, Rep. Jim Jordan is asking the U.S. Justice Department to bring new perjury charges against Cohen.

Jordan - who led off the hearing by noting that Cohen was about to go to prison for lying to Congress and spent the rest of it portraying Cohen as a habitual liar - sent a letter to the Justice Department on Thursday that claimed Cohen “knowingly made false statements during his testimony.”

“Congress cannot perform its oversight function if witnesses who appear before its committees do not provide truthful testimony,” said the letter from Jordan, a Champaign County Republican, and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of South Carolina, who is also on the Oversight Committee. “Perjury and false statements before Congress are crimes that undermine the integrity of the Constitutional duty to conduct oversight and inquiries.”

It says that several times during his testimony before Congress, Cohen “denied committing various fraudulent acts that he has pleaded guilty to in federal court,” such as claiming he did not defraud banks, or seek employment in the White House after Trump became president.

It says Cohen pleaded guilty to charges that included making false statements to banks, and that legal documents filed by federal prosecutors in New York said that Cohen “privately told friends and colleagues that he expected to be given a prominent role and title in the new administration” after Trump’s election. Jordan’s letter noted that several of Cohen’s acquaintances, including Cleveland pastor Darrell Scott, posted Twitter comments during the hearing that indicated Cohen had told them he wanted a White House job.

Michael Cohen asked...no, BEGGED me REPEATEDLY, to ask the POTUS to give him a job in the Administration! He’s STILL lying under oath!— Dr.Darrell Scott (@PastorDScott) February 27, 2019

The letter also disputed Cohen’s contentions that he didn’t direct the set-up of a “Women for Cohen” account on Twitter, and that a form he submitted along with his testimony said he hadn’t had “any reportable contracts with foreign government entities,” when he told the committee he entered into contracts with BTA Bank of Kazakhstan and Korea Aerospace Industries, which are partly owned by foreign governments.

It also took issue with Cohen’s claim that his criminal actions, like making payments on Trump’s behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels, stemmed from his “blind loyalty” to Trump, when prosecutors attributed them to ambition and personal greed.

“His testimony included intentionally false statements designed to make himself look better on a national stage,” it said. “Mr. Cohen’s prior conviction for lying to Congress merits a heightened suspicion that he has yet again testified falsely before Congress.”

During the hearing, Jordan attacked Cohen as a liar, patsy and shill for his attorney – longtime Clinton family associate Lanny Davis. Jordan claimed the hearing was an effort by Democrats to remove Trump from office. Because several Republicans on the committee ceded questioning time to Jordan, he had numerous confrontations with Cohen.

Not everyone appreciated Jordan’s approach. A Democratic committee member who represents the Virgin Islands, Stacey Plaskett, could be seen rolling her eyes and mouthing the words “be quiet” at one of his interjections. Others criticized the committee’s Republicans for spending all their time attacking Cohen while ignoring the misdeeds that Cohen said Trump committed.

At one point in the hearing, when Jordan accused Cohen of debating “a member of Congress stating I really didn’t do anything wrong with the false bank things” that he was going to prison for, Cohen accused Jordan of misrepresenting his statements.

Cohen said he was disputing some of the congress member’s facts, and said he’s remorseful, taking responsibility for his mistakes, and going to prison.

“I said I pled guilty and I take responsibility for my actions,” said Cohen. “Shame on you Mr. Jordan.”