NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee said the congressional testimony of President Donald Trump’s former attorney and personal “fixer” Michael Cohen was arranged by Democrats to lay the groundwork for impeachment.
“The Democrats want to impeach him. It’s crazy. So that’s what yesterday was about. It was the start of laying that foundation,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said at a discussion forum at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday.
Cohen testified before with the committee in open session for eight hours on Wednesday. Today he is scheduled to speak privately with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Cohen met privately with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Jordan made similar remarks about the motive for allowing Cohen to testify. He asked his fellow committee members why Cohen, who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, should now be believed. Over and over Jordan attacked Cohen’s character and repeatedly accused him of lying. At one point the congressman’s admonishments prompted the disbarred attorney to respond: “Shame on you, Mr. Jordan.”
Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday evening that he believes Cohen’s testimony was credible. Cummings said that based on the testimony, “it appears that he (Trump) did” commit a crime.
However, Cummings downplayed Republican claims that the hearing was designed to facilitate impeachment proceedings, noting none of the Democrats on the committee broached the subject.
“They (Republicans) did, but not us.”