WASHINGTON — Longtime Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen told House Republicans at the Oversight and Reform Committee that he’s responsible for their “silliness” in defending President Trump.
Led by Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), most of the committee GOPs stuck by the strategy of highlighting Cohen’s previous confessed lies to Congress to assert he was not credible as a witness today.
Cohen pleaded guilty to lying in the Southern District of New York regarding Senate testimony about the Trump organization’s campaign-season plans to move forward with a Trump Tower in Moscow.
“There’s no truth with you whatsoever. That’s why I — that’s important to you to look up here and look at the old adage that our moms taught us: Liar, liar, pants on fire. No one should ever listen to you and give you credit ability. It’s sad,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) asked Cohen, “What was the breaking point at which you decided to start telling the truth?”
“There are several factors. Helsinki. Charlottesville. Watching the daily destruction of our civility to one another. Putting up silly things like this,” Cohen replied.
“Really unbecoming of Congress,” he continued, looking at the GOP side of the dais. “It’s that sort of behavior that I’m responsible for, I’m responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you’re doing now for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years and the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value to it and you want to use that as the premise for discrediting me that I’m not the person that people called at 3 o’clock in the morning would make you inaccurate.”
“In actuality it would make you a liar, which puts you into the same position that I am in, and I can only warn people the more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.”
Cohen said he has made “mistakes in life and I’ve owned them and I’ve taken responsibility for them and I’m paying a huge price as is my family, so if that in and of itself isn’t enough to dissuade somebody from acting in the callous manner that I did, I’m not sure that that person has any chance very much like I’m in right now.”
“Everybody’s job at the Trump organization is to protect Mr. Trump. Every day most of us knew we were coming in and we were going to lie for him on something and that became the norm,” he said. “And that’s exactly what’s happening right now in this country and it’s exactly what’s happening here in government.”
The hearing is expected to continue to at least late into the afternoon.