Cummings calls for Oversight hearing with Cohen

Cummings calls for Oversight hearing with Cohen
© Anna Moneymaker

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGraham to renew call for second special counsel Hillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests House Dems blast GOP for FBI, DOJ 'conspiracy theories' aimed to protect Trump MORE (D-Md.) is calling for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing with Michael Cohen, who implicated the president in his guilty plea to campaign finance violations on Tuesday. 

Cummings, the ranking member of the panel, on Wednesday called on committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyGowdy requests FEMA administrator’s travel records amid allegations Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe MORE (R-S.C.) to schedule a hearing "as soon as possible ... to obtain sworn testimony directly from Mr. Cohen." 

"Yesterday, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes and directly implicated President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE in directing these crimes," Cummings wrote.

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Cohen, who was Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to tax and bank fraud charges as well as campaign finance violations. He said in court that Trump had directed him to arrange payments to two women during his 2016 presidential campaign in exchange for their silence about alleged affairs with Trump more than a decade ago. 

"Now that Mr. Cohen has pleaded guilty to these crimes, he is willing to testify before Congress," Cummings said. 

The Maryland Democrat then quoted Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, who on Wednesday morning said Cohen is willing to "tell the truth ... if asked by any authority." 

"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.

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee is the House's main investigative panel.  

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi calls on Ryan to bring long-term Violence Against Women Act to floor Dems' confidence swells with midterms fast approaching GOP: The economy will shield us from blue wave MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday also highlighted Congress's role following Cohen's claims, saying Democrats should focus on oversight of the president and allow special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE to finish his work, The Associated Press reported.

The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday that they want Cohen to testify regarding a topic that is unrelated to his New York charges.

Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrGraham: Mueller is going to be allowed to finish investigation Trump authorizes sanctions against foreign governments that interfere in US elections Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat from Trump, Congress | US cracking down on foreign hackers | Sanders steps up Amazon attack | Analysts predict iPhone prices would rise if production moved to US MORE (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless Bipartisan trio asks US intelligence to investigate ‘deepfakes’ Warner: 'overwhelming majority' of Republicans would back social media regulations MORE (D-Va.) said in a joint statement that they want Cohen to appear before their committee to discuss recent media reports indicating he knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting before it took place.