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 TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE or pursue evidence of FBI bias and abuses.

Key conservatives such as Reps. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Schiff, Nunes pressed DOJ for Mueller briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Mueller report will dominate this week MORE (R-Calif.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Washington in frenzy over release of Mueller report MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Cummings accuses Oversight Republicans of obstructing drug price probe Schumer staffer-turned-wrestling coach focus of new documentary MORE (R-Ohio) were often frustrated by then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers FEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE has closed his investigation with the conclusion that there was no collusion between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to swing the 2016 election. And new Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Mueller report unveils American democracy under Russian attack Kellyanne Conway: Mueller didn't need to use the word 'exoneration' in report 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 McCarthyWatchdog: Custodial staff alleged sexual harassment in lawmakers' offices John Legend, Chrissy Teigen lash out at Trump at Dem retreat Republicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ MORE (R-Calif.) put his personal weight behind an effort to force the Democratic-controlled House to refer former Trump attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenEnd of Mueller shifts focus to existing probes Democrats renew attacks on Trump attorney general The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems face tricky balancing act after Mueller report 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 GreenRepublicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ Finally united, House Republicans refer ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for perjury prosecution Overnight Defense: Trump labels elite Iranian military unit a terrorist group | Iran hits back with terrorist label for US Central Command | US troops, contractor killed in Afghanistan blast 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.