One of the first orders of business for Democrats, once they took control of the House of Representatives this month after their massive 40-seat win in the midterm election, was to get the investigations in order that they intended to pursue after a shameful session of Congress in which Republicans did not investigate anything to its fullest extent and in fact wrapped up a House investigation that they scarcely allowed Democrats to even participate in.
First on the agenda? Michael Cohen.
Cohen is scheduled to appear before a House Oversight Committee on February 7th, and Democrats on that panel intend to get to the bottom of some questions that Republicans left on the table — especially considering the fact that, since the last time Cohen testified before Congress, he’s had a courtroom trial and pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in that initial testimony. That testimony concerned the length of time that talks between Trump and Trump associates went on with Russia about the possible real estate deal that would lead to the building of a Trump Tower in Moscow.
In order to complete such a project, Trump would have needed certain conditions to be met, including a lifting of sanctions against not just the oligarchs who controlled the money Trump would need to undertake Trump Tower Moscow but also against the oligarchs who control the materials with which the Tower would have been built.
During and after his election, Trump very obviously attempted to have those specific sanctions lifted.
Cohen’s false testimony was concocted in order to mislead lawmakers so that Trump’s public statements — that he had “no deals in Russia” — would line up with when the talks with Russia ended. But those talks hadn’t ended, and lawmakers and the public weren’t alerted to that fact until after Cohen had already lied.
Now Republicans on the Committee are attempting to derail the upcoming testimony from Cohen by claiming that he won’t be able to testify about enough to justify his appearance before the panel:
Top Republicans in the Freedom Caucus, Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan — both staunch allies of Donald Trump’s — are now claiming that their staffers had met with one of Cohen’s lawyers who indicated a limited nature of the testimony that Cohen would be allowed to provide to the Oversight Committee. They sent a letter that insinuates that those limitations, despite being because of ongoing investigations, would render Cohen’s testimony now pointless.
It’s too late, Republicans. Democrats chair the committees now, and it’s their time to get the answers they want.
Featured image via screen capture