By ANDREW DESIDERIO
The top Republican on the House Oversight Committee said Michael Cohen’s appearance before the panel next week will be “Phase One of the Democrats’ coordinated campaign” to impeach President Donald Trump, accusing Democrats of orchestrating a “charade” meant to embarrass the president.
“Giving a platform to Mr. Cohen is beneath the dignity of the Congress and I am saddened that Democrats have sunk so low as to promote an admitted liar just to satisfy Tom Steyer and the political forces on the left who will settle for nothing less than impeachment,” Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said in a statement Thursday, referring to the billionaire liberal donor who is pushing House Democrats to start impeachment proceedings.
“Yet, Chairman Cummings is providing a Congressional forum for Mr. Cohen to avenge his grudge with the president and further feed his insatiable desire for celebrity while being a patsy for political aims of the far left,” Jordan said.
Cummings said the hearing’s scope would be limited to a few topics so that the Oversight Committee does not interfere with the House Intelligence Committee’s separate investigation. Democrats are expected to ask Cohen about the president’s payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, among other issues.
“The Chairman indicated that he will be limiting the topics of the hearing to only a few areas of inquiry — all serving his interest in finding grounds for impeachment. I will not stand by quietly while an admitted liar comes before the Committee,” Jordan said.
“This charade is an affront to our committee’s constitutional obligations,” Jordan added.
The Trump ally came out swinging a day after Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) announced that Cohen, the president’s former attorney and fixer, would testify publicly before the panel next Wednesday. Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) have written letters to Cummings in recent weeks saying that Cohen would not be a credible witness because he admitted to having lied to Congress, and they’ve asserted that such a hearing does not serve the committee’s investigative interests.
Cohen is scheduled to testify before the Intelligence panel the next day and is expected to soon appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has already issued him a subpoena. On Wednesday, a federal judge granted Cohen’s request to report to prison on May 6 — two months later than U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley had ordered.