House GOP Sends Michael Cohen Criminal Referral to Justice Department

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    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: May 9, 2024 (3 weeks ago)

    In a significant development, Republican members of the House Oversight Committee have sent a criminal referral to the U.S. Department of Justice concerning Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to ex-President Donald Trump. The referral, initiated by GOP lawmakers, alleges that Cohen provided false statements during his congressional testimony in 2019.

    The criminal referral, signed by several Republican representatives, accuses Cohen of making misleading or untruthful statements while testifying before Congress. The referral specifically focuses on Cohen’s assertions regarding his compliance with federal lobbying laws and potential violations thereof.

    In response to the referral, Republican Representative Jim Jordan, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, asserted that it was necessary to hold Cohen accountable for his statements. “Mr. Cohen appears to have provided false or misleading testimony to Congress, and it’s imperative that we uphold the integrity of congressional oversight,” Representative Jordan stated.

    Michael Cohen, who previously served as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, testified before Congress in 2019 regarding various matters related to the Trump Organization and the former president’s conduct. During his testimony, Cohen made several claims about his role and activities, some of which have drawn scrutiny from Republican lawmakers.

    The referral of Cohen’s case to the Justice Department signifies a renewed effort by House Republicans to scrutinize his previous statements and actions. The move reflects ongoing political divisions surrounding investigations into Trump’s business dealings and activities during his presidency.

    In response to the criminal referral, Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, criticized the Republican lawmakers’ actions as politically motivated. “This referral is nothing more than a partisan attack on Mr. Cohen, driven by political vendettas,” Davis stated. He emphasized that Cohen has cooperated extensively with authorities and fulfilled his obligations under the law.

    It remains to be seen how the Department of Justice will respond to the criminal referral and whether it will pursue any further action against Michael Cohen. The referral adds another layer of complexity to the legal challenges facing Cohen, who previously served a prison sentence related to charges of tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

    The development underscores the ongoing legal and political battles surrounding figures associated with the Trump administration. Michael Cohen, once a close confidant of Donald Trump, has become a central figure in investigations and inquiries into the former president’s business affairs and conduct.

    As the Department of Justice reviews the criminal referral and considers potential next steps, the case involving Michael Cohen continues to highlight the intersection of law, politics, and accountability in the aftermath of the Trump presidency.