Updated Mar 13, 2019

Republicans ask Cummings to refer Cohen to DOJ for perjury investigation

Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) plan to send a letter to chairman Elijah Cummings Wednesday afternoon urging him to refer Michael Cohen to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation.

The backdrop: Cohen testified before the committee last month that he had "never asked for, nor would [he] accept, a pardon" from the president. Trump later tweeted that Cohen had "directly asked" him for a pardon.

  • Late last night, Cohen attorney‘s Michael Monico also sent a letter to Cummings, clarifying that Cohen never asked President Trump to grant him a pardon, despite Trump tweeting that Cohen had "directly asked" for one.
  • Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis told Axios that Cohen and his legal team "blame ourselves, not anybody else" for not clearly explaining the time frames of Cohen's statements, which he called the "two Michael Cohens." But he maintained that Cohen "never directly asked Donald Trump for a pardon. That's a true statement."

Cummings later responded in a statement:

“Our practice on this Committee is to give witnesses an opportunity to clarify their testimony, and that is what Mr. Cohen has done. I do not see the need for further action—at least at this time. However, I understand that Mr. Cohen may have answered more detailed questions on this same topic the day after our hearing when the Intelligence Committee had him in for a closed session. We will review that transcript when it becomes available and determine whether any additional steps are required."

Davis also issued a statement:

“Mr. Cohen’s letter to the Chairman last night addresses the issue raised by Mr. Jordan. As the letter stated, Mr. Cohen’s testimony was truthful. The letter provided greater time frame context for that testimony.
“Isn’t it interesting that neither Mr. Jordan nor any Republican on the committee has ever mentioned the hush money check signed by President Trump, shown on TV during the hearing, proving that the president committed a felony as part of the Stormy Daniels illegal hush money scheme? Federal prosecutors have stated that scheme was directed and coordinated by President Trump. Why does Mr. Jordan ignore this?”
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