GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) referred Michael Cohen to the Justice Department Thursday, alleging in a letter that he committed perjury during his hours-long hearing Wednesday in front of the House Oversight Committee. The letter cites a litany of Cohen’s claims during the hearing, including his testimony that “I never defrauded any bank,” his repeated insistence that he never wanted to work in the White House, and his statement that he didn’t have any reportable contacts with foreign governments, as false. The letter concluded by calling Cohen’s testimony “a spectacular and brazen attempt to knowingly and willfully testify falsely and fictitiously to numerous material facts.” The referral comes after most conservative members of the committee spent the hearing attempting to smear Cohen’s credibility, repeatedly invoking his previous guilty plea for lying to Congress.
Hours after the letter was sent, Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, pushed back against the allegations. “Mr. Cohen testified truthfully before the House Oversight Committee. He took full responsibility for his guilty pleas. He also backed up much of his testimony with documents,” Davis told The Daily Beast. “It may not be surprising that two pro-Trump Committee members known have a baseless criminal referral. In my opinion, it is a sad misuse of the criminal justice system with the aura of pure partisanship.”