House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings revealed Wednesday that his panel wouldn’t take any action versus Michael Cohen after his attorney opposed his testament that he never asked President Donald Trump for a pardon.
Cummings (D-Md.) said in a statement that Cohen, Trump’s former legal representative and fixer, clarified his testament in which he said, “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump.”
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“Our practice on this Committee is to offer witnesses an opportunity to clarify their testament, and that is what Mr. Cohen has done,” Cummings stated. “I do not see the requirement for further action — at least at this time.”
Cohen affirmed in an open hearing — and in several closed-door ones — to Congress earlier this month.
Republicans, including Trump, have attempted to challenge Cohen, who linked Trump in various crimes in his testimony. Some Republicans have pointed to the reality that Cohen had lied to Congress before. The Oversight panel’s top Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, also sent out a criminal referral to the Justice Department, declaring lies by Cohen.
Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison for criminal offenses including lying to Congress, tax fraud and campaign-finance offenses.
Cummings’ declaration comes after Cohen’s attorneys sent a letter to Cummings on Tuesday saying that the sentence in question referred to the duration after Cohen left a joint-defense agreement with Trump in June 2018.
The attorneys composed that “President Trump openly dangled the possibility of pardons when commenting about ongoing examinations” to his joint-defense group. Cohen asked his then-attorney to discuss possible pardon choices with Trump’s lawyers when he was still on the joint-defense team, the letter said.
“At no time did Mr. Cohen personally ask President Trump for a pardon or did the President deal Mr. Cohen the same,” the letter continued. “In retrospect the above sentence in his testimony could have been clearer and more total regarding the difference in between the pre-JDA and post-JDA time periods.”
Cohen‘s attorney Lanny Davis on Wednesday likewise stated that the letter to Cummings attended to the problem raised by Jordan, including that his client‘s statement was genuine.
Davis went on to question why Jordan and other Republicans had not dealt with the hush money payments made to adult-film starlet Rainy Daniels that Cohen has stated Trump informed him to make.
“Isn’t it fascinating that neither Mr. Jordan nor any Republican on the committee has ever discussed the hush money checks signed by President Trump, proving that the president dedicated a felony as part of the Stormy Daniels unlawful hush cash plan?“ Davis stated. “Federal district attorneys have actually stated that plan was directed and collaborated by President Trump. Why does Mr. Jordan overlook this?”
Cummings stated that he would continue to evaluation records of Cohen’s closed-door statement to identify whether any additional steps need to be made.
“I comprehend that Mr. Cohen may have answered more detailed concerns on this same subject the day after our hearing when the Intelligence Committee had him in for a closed session,” he stated in his declaration. “We will review that records when it becomes readily available and identify whether any extra steps are needed.”
Darren Samuelsohn contributed to this report.