Cummings calls for Oversight hearing with Cohen

Cummings calls for Oversight hearing with Cohen
© Anna Moneymaker

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGOP Oversight report says Interior head met with group tied to former clients Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence 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 GowdyRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Cummings announces expansion of Oversight panel's White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling Pelosi says it's up to GOP to address sexual assault allegation against Trump 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 TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? 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 PelosiMoulton drops out of presidential race after struggling to gain traction Conservatives push Trump tariff relief over payroll tax cuts Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony 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 BurrHoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Trump withdraws Ratcliffe as Intelligence pick MORE (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges 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.