House Republicans Refer Michael Cohen to DOJ for Criminal Prosecution for Lying

by J Pelkey
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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) have officially referred Michael Cohen to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution, citing his multiple lies to Congress. They urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to hold Cohen accountable for the false statements he made during his February 2019 testimony.

In their letter, Republican members highlighted six specific lies that Cohen presented to the House Oversight Committee and urged the Department of Justice to take appropriate action. Last year, GOP members uncovered further false testimony by Cohen during a 2019 deposition before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). They argue that Cohen’s testimony is now being exploited to fuel a politically motivated prosecution of a former president and current presidential candidate.

Among the six specific lies outlined in the letter are Cohen’s prior fraudulent activities, to which he had pleaded guilty in federal court. Additionally, he falsely denied seeking a position in President Trump’s administration, despite evidence to the contrary from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The Committee also accuses Cohen of misrepresenting his role in creating a Twitter account, failing to disclose foreign government contracts, contradicting his own written statement, and falsely attributing his crimes to “blind loyalty” to Trump, a claim disputed by federal prosecutors.

In a separate incident, Cohen admitted in 2023 to lying to Congress during a 2019 deposition before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). He confessed to providing false testimony when questioned about being instructed to inflate financial figures. This admission prompted HPSCI to once again refer Cohen to the DOJ for charges of perjury and making false statements.

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Excerpt of the letter to Garland:

“As indicated in the 2019 letter, Cohen, while testifying under oath before the House Oversight Committee, made willfully and intentionally false statements of material fact that were contradicted by the record established by the Justice Department in United States v. Cohen. Cohen also made statements to the Oversight Committee that were contradicted by witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the subject matter. In particular, Cohen lied at least six times:

1. Cohen denied committing various fraudulent acts to which he had pleaded guilty in federal court.

2. Cohen repeatedly testified that he did not seek employment in President Trump’s White House, despite evidence from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York demonstrating that ‘Cohen privately told friends . . . that he expected to be given a prominent role and title in the new administration.’

3. Cohen stated that he did not direct the creation of a Twitter account known as @WomenForCohen, which is contradicted by statements from the owner of the IT firm that created the account for Cohen.

4. Cohen attested in his Truth in Testimony form that he did not have any reportable foreign government contracts, despite entering into two contracts in 2017 with entities owned in part by foreign governments.

5. Cohen’s testimony at the hearing contradicted various aspects of his written statement submitted in advance of the hearing.

6. Cohen asserted that he committed crimes out of ‘blind loyalty’ to President Trump, which was contradicted by findings made by federal prosecutors and a federal court.

“In 2023, Cohen admitted to lying to Congress during a separate proceeding before Congress in 2019. At a hearing in the politicized lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General against President Trump, Cohen admitted to lying under oath during a 2019 deposition before HPSCI. President Trump’s attorney asked Cohen if he lied during the deposition when testifying about whether he was directed to inflate certain financial numbers, to which Cohen responded, ‘Yes.’ This revelation in court prompted HPSCI to refer Cohen again to the Justice Department for perjury and knowingly making false statements to Congress.

“Currently, Manhattan’s popularly elected District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, is using Cohen as his star witness in an ongoing criminal prosecution of President Donald Trump. Bragg’s case heavily relies on Cohen’s testimony and credibility. Even more troubling, Cohen’s advisor, Lanny Davis, boasted to Politico that Bragg’s prosecution of President Trump all stemmed from Cohen’s testimony to Congress in 2019. Davis confessed to calling the New York County District Attorney’s office after ‘Michael was sent to prison’ because ‘the evidence of financial fraud was on the record in the [congressional] hearings and that Vance’s office should interview Michael . . . . And that’s how it began.’ In short, to prosecute President Trump, Bragg has revived this ‘zombie’ case relying on a known—and convicted—liar and his testimony at a congressional hearing in which he lied at least six times.

“Under 18 U.S.C. § 1621, a witness commits perjury if the witness ‘willfully’ asserts ‘any material matter which he does not believe to be true’ after ‘having taken an oath’ to ‘testify . . .truly.’ Under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, a witness commits a crime if the witness ‘knowingly and willfully’ makes ‘any material false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation’ with respect to ‘any investigation under review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee. . . of the Congress.’ Congress cannot perform its oversight function if witnesses who appear before its committees do not provide truthful testimony.”

Trump is currently facing 34 junk felony charges of falsifying business records, all stemming from allegations that he concealed a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to prevent her from disclosing details of an alleged sexual encounter in an effort to sway an election.

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