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 defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE or pursue evidence of FBI bias and abuses.

Key conservatives such as Reps. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Lawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing MORE (R-Calif.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsRep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump House panel advances bill to create cybersecurity standards for government IT devices MORE (R-Ohio) were often frustrated by then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate 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 MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 BarrTrump's Justice Department should change its tune on antitrust policy Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Trump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community 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 McCarthyThe case for congressional pay raises McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' MORE (R-Calif.) put his personal weight behind an effort to force the Democratic-controlled House to refer former Trump attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt 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 GreenOvernight Energy: Trump appoints Social Security watchdog to also oversee Interior | Critics question EPA guidance on pipelines | Battle over science roils EPA Overnight Energy: Trump appoints Social Security watchdog to also oversee Interior | Critics question EPA guidance on pipelines | Battle over science roils EPA Trump appoints Social Security Administration watchdog to also oversee Interior 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.