It looks like Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) are looking to add to the amount of time former Trump attorney Michael Cohen spends behind bars.
As IJR reported, Cohen spent most of the day Wednesday answering questions from Congress. Many Republicans and even some Democrats were less than thrilled that Cohen was invited as a Congressional witness because he already pleaded guilty to perjury before Congress. In fact, his lies landed him two months in prison as part of a three-year sentence for his other campaign finance crimes.
Following his testimony Wednesday, Jordan and Meadows believe he committed perjury again. They officially referred the matter to Attorney General Andrew Barr in a letter Thursday.
The two ranking members pointed to six lies they believe Cohen told to Congress, requesting that Barr look into the claims and prosecute as necessary.
1. “I never defrauded any bank.”
During his testimony, Cohen denied that he defrauded banks in the past. However, Meadows and Jordan claim that’s a lie because Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one of which included making false statements to a bank.
Jordan and Meadows write, “These denials [of bank fraud] are intentionally false.”
2. Cohen didn’t want to work in the White House.
As IJR reported earlier, several reports, including one from CNN, found Cohen’s claim that he did not want to work in the White House to be misleading at best. An interview from the 2016 presidential campaign shows that Cohen wanted an official role inside the White House, rather than his position as President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) November 10, 2016
Jordan and Meadows noted that Cohen’s apparent lie about wanting a job in the White House impacts his motives and is an important factor in considering his testimony.
3. Women for Cohen.
Michael Cohen created a Twitter account called Women for Cohen. The account tweeted several posts that claimed to be from women who thought that Cohen was “handsome” or “sexy.” Jordan confronted him about this during the testimony.
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) February 27, 2019
Cohen denied that he worked to create the account, saying, “I didn’t actually set that up.” Jordan and Meadows believe that could be a lie. They believe these details are important because it is “material to the Committee’s assessment of Mr. Cohen’s character and credibility.”
4. Foreign contracts.
During his written testimony, Cohen claimed that he did not have any connections to foreign governments. However, Jordan and Meadows believe this isn’t true, pointing to his connections to BTA Bank in Kazakhstan and Korea Aerospace Industries of South Korea.
They claim that he either lied to Congress about his relationship with the foreign entities or he defrauded the foreign companies by accepting payments without actually working for them.
5. Contradictions between his written and verbal testimony.
Jordan and Meadows claimed that Cohen’s facts were inconsistent between his written testimony and his questioning. They pointed to two areas where they believe his story didn’t line up.
First, Cohen claimed he was a good lawyer who gave “sound legal advice,” yet he claimed he made the payment to Stormy Daniels “without bothering to consider whether that was improper,” which doesn’t make for a good lawyer.
Second, Cohen said that Trump told him to go “figure out how to” pay Daniels, but in his written testimony, he said Trump directed him to use his own money to handle the payment.
6. “Blind loyalty” to Trump.
During his testimony, Cohen explained that he went along with his allegations against Trump because of a “blind loyalty” to Trump. However, Jordan and Meadows noted that prosecutors from the Southern District of New York found it was “personal greed” that motivated Cohen.
In all, Jordan and Meadows claimed Cohen’s testimony “was a spectacular and brazen attempt to knowing and willfully testify falsely and fictiously to numerous material facts.”
They also believe his alleged lies were “designed to make himself look better on a national stage.”
While it isn’t clear what A.G. Barr will do with the perjury referral, Jordan and Meadows made it clear that they did not approve of Cohen’s testimony.