Finally united, House Republicans refer ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for perjury prosecution

During the dark days of the early Russia collusion probe, House Republicans often were fractured on how to best defend Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE or pursue evidence of FBI bias and abuses.

Key conservatives such as Reps. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism MORE (R-Calif.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsRepublicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles Trump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Trump's legal team gets set for impeachment trial Five lingering questions as impeachment heads to Senate MORE (R-Ohio) were often frustrated by then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record The TRUST Act is a plot to gut Social Security behind closed doors MORE’s proceed-carefully approach.

What a difference two years makes!

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Ryan (R-Wis.) has left the House and, before he did, even he had come to the conclusion that the FBI probe of Trump likely involved abuses. Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE has closed his investigation with the conclusion that there was no collusion between Trump and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Russia's shakeup has implications for Putin, Medvedev and the US The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week MORE to swing the 2016 election. And new Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Pentagon to place new restrictions, monitoring on foreign military students Parnas: Environment around Trump 'like a cult' MORE is opening a wide-ranging investigation into the FBI’s conduct during the presidential election.

The result is that House Republicans — from the establishment wing to the sometimes rebellious Freedom Caucus — are now united.

The clearest sign emerged Wednesday morning when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCalifornia sues Trump administration over fracking Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (R-Calif.) put his personal weight behind an effort to force the Democratic-controlled House to refer former Trump attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTreasury adviser pleads guilty to making unauthorized disclosures in case involving Manafort Michael Cohen calls for early release from prison The rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 MORE for possible perjury prosecution for multiple statements Cohen made in February testimony that conflicts with other evidence in the public realm.

Together with his rank-and-file, McCarthy unveiled a resolution that was conceived by Jordan and Meadows and sponsored by Rep. Mark GreenMark GreenTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization Trump says he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues MORE (R-Tenn.) that would require the House to send a copy of Cohen’s Feb. 27 testimony before the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

“It is the judgment of the House of Representatives that providing a copy of the official transcript of the hearing of the Committee on Oversight and Reform on February 27, 2019, to the Department of Justice would aid the Attorney General’s consideration of investigation and potential prosecution of Michael Cohen’s criminal conduct,” the resolution declares.

On its face, the resolution is good politics, an effort to create a boomerang that wounds Democrats for making Cohen — already a convicted liar — their first major witness at the first major hearing on their new time in power.

Cohen’s most recent testimony, that he never wanted a pardon from Trump and never sought a White House job, was directly contradicted by other witnesses and documents, and it has caused Democrats some significant heartburn.

But the real headline of Wednesday’s event is that a House caucus, once divided on how and whether to defend Trump on Russia-collusion charges, has found common ground between leadership and rebel and is signaling an intention to go on offense for the rest of 2019.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill.