Dem chairman closes Cohen hearing with emotional speech

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsLawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens House poised to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer MORE (D-Md.) closed Wednesday's hearing with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen with an impassioned plea for lawmakers to “get back to normal” and to consider the democracy they are leaving future generations. 

“I don’t know why this is happening for you, but it is my hope that a small part of it is for our country to be better,” Cummings told Cohen at the conclusion of roughly seven hours of testimony.

“The president called you a rat,” Cummings added. “We’re better than that. We really are. I’m hoping that all of us can get back to his democracy that we want and that we should be passing on to our children so that they can do better than what we did.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Cohen become visibly emotional as Cummings acknowledged the difficulty of the circumstances for the president's longtime attorney.

“Hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Michel Cohen, a better Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE, a better United States of America, and a better world,” Cummings said as Cohen reached for a drink of water.

The chairman grew more animated as he spoke, shouting into the microphone as he called on lawmakers to reflect on how they're protecting democracy.

He took a swipe at Republicans, who earlier in the day suggested that holding a hearing with Cohen was an indication that Democrats were out to get the president.

Cummings noted that the committee previously held a hearing on prescription drug prices.

“We can do more than one thing,” Cummings said. “And we have got to get back to normal.”

Cummings then gaveled the hearing to a close after roughly seven hours of testimony from Cohen.

The president's longtime attorney, who is facing a three-year prison sentence, will meet privately on Thursday with the House Intelligence Committee.