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 TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE or pursue evidence of FBI bias and abuses.

Key conservatives such as Reps. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Sunday shows preview: With less than two months to go, race for the White House heats up Sunday shows preview: Republicans gear up for national convention, USPS debate continues in Washington MORE (R-Calif.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump reacts to Ginsburg's death: 'An amazing woman who led an amazing life' Trump carries on with rally, unaware of Ginsburg's death United Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election House passes resolution condemning anti-Asian discrimination relating to coronavirus Republicans call for Judiciary hearing into unrest in cities run by Democrats MORE (R-Ohio) were often frustrated by then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE’s proceed-carefully approach.

What a difference two years makes!

ADVERTISEMENT

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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE has closed his investigation with the conclusion that there was no collusion between Trump and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin is about to turn his attention to the American way of life Putin critic Navalny posts photo of himself walking: 'Long' path to recovery FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden MORE to swing the 2016 election. And new Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMichigan resident puts toilet on front lawn with sign 'Place mail in ballots here' Barr says Ginsburg 'leaves a towering legacy' Republicans call for DOJ to prosecute Netflix executives for releasing 'Cuties' 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 McCarthyTrump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill Trump's sharp words put CDC director on hot seat MORE (R-Calif.) put his personal weight behind an effort to force the Democratic-controlled House to refer former Trump attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenA huge deal for campaign disclosure: Trump's tax records for Biden's medical records Our Constitution is under attack by Attorney General William Barr Eric Trump says he will comply with New York AG's subpoena only after Election Day 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 GreenGOP lawmakers want answers from Disney on Mulan, China House GOP Steering Committee selects four members for new committee positions Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese hackers accused of targeting COVID-19 research | House votes to ban TikTok on government devices 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.