A criminal referral was sent to the Justice Department regarding Michael Cohen’s testimony.
House Republicans issued a criminal referral against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for his testimony in the former president’s New York fraud trial.
The letter, which was sent by House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), said that Mr. Cohen committed perjury and “knowingly made false statements” before a congressional panel several years ago.
“That Mr. Cohen was willing to openly and brazenly state at trial that he lied to Congress on this specific issue is startling,” the referral letter stated. “His willingness to make such a statement alone should necessitate an investigation.”
The letter asks Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Mr. Cohen after he told a court several days ago that he lied about his handling of former President Donald Trump’s business dealings in sworn testimony in front of a House panel. He said that he made false claims under oath when said that neither President Trump nor a former Trump Organization chief financial officer told him to inflate numbers on the former president’s personal financial statements.
During questioning during the trial, Trump lawyer Alina Habba asked Mr. Cohen: “So you lied under oath in February of 2019? Is that your testimony?” He responded, “Yes.”
“Mr. Cohen, were you being honest in front of the Permanent Select Committee when you testified on Feb. 28, 2019?” Ms. Habba also asked. Mr. Cohen replied, “No.”
Following the cross-examination last month, Mr. Cohen attempted to pin the blame on President Trump. “He did not specifically state, ‘Michael, go inflate the numbers,’” Mr. Cohen testified. “Donald Trump speaks like a mob boss, and what he does is he tells you what he wants without specifically telling you.”
Because Mr. Cohen’s testimony in February 2019 to Congress “is contradicted by his reported recent testimony” in the courtroom, his “prior conviction for lying to Congress merits a heightened suspicion that he has yet again testified falsely before Congress,” the Republicans’ letter said.
“We therefore request that the Department investigate whether any of Mr. Cohen’s testimony warrants another charge for the violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 or 1621,” it stated.