Cummings Seeks Testimony From Trump’s Personal Lawyer After He Directly Implicates President in Crimes
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 22, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government, sent a letter to Chairman Trey Gowdy requesting a hearing with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty yesterday to multiple federal crimes and implicated President Trump in directing these crimes.
“These are extremely serious crimes that implicate the fundamental underpinnings of our democracy, and they warrant robust and credible oversight by Congress as an independent Constitutional check on the Executive Branch,” Cummings wrote. “Given the gravity of these revelations, I request that you schedule a hearing as soon as possible before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to obtain sworn testimony directly from Mr. Cohen.”
Cohen stated during his court appearance yesterday that President Trump directed him to make payments to two women during the 2016 presidential election campaign to prevent them from disclosing affairs they reported having with him. Referring to President Trump, Cohen stated that he committed these crimes “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” and “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.”
Now that Cohen has pleaded guilty to these crimes, he is willing to testify before Congress. Yesterday, Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, stated: “you saw in court today he not only implicated, he specifically, under oath, stated that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime, making Donald Trump as much guilty of that felony as my client, Mr. Cohen.” Davis also stated that “if asked by any authority”—including “any Congressional committee”—Mr. Cohen “will tell the truth. Of that I am certain.”
In a television appearance this morning, Mr. Davis added that he believes Cohen would testify without immunity.
“I have no doubt that you would convene immediate hearings on these matters if the occupant of the White House were a Democrat,” Cummings wrote. “I ask you to apply the same standard here.”
Click here to read today’s letter.