A Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform is forcing a House floor vote on whether to refer an investigation into former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen to the Justice Department for perjury.
Freshman GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee filed the privileged resolution on Tuesday afternoon, giving the House Democratic majority 48 hours to hold a vote on the measure.
Republicans have accused Cohen of committing perjury during his testimony in February before the Oversight panel in which he accused the president, his adult children, and other people in Trump’s inner orbit each of of multiple.
“The integrity of the Oversight Committee and the entire House is at stake,” Green said in a statement Tuesday. “We must defend our honor, refer Michael Cohen’s testimony to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation and show the American people that the People’s House will not tolerate a man lying under oath.”
Democrats are not expected to vote to refer a perjury case against Cohen to DOJ and largely view Republicans’ campaign against the former Trump “fixer” as a publicity stunt to distract from and undermine his allegations against the president.
Republicans on the oversight panel have claimed that Cohen committed perjury when he told the committee at the hearing in February “I never asked for, nor would I accept” a pardon from Trump.
In a letter to Oversight Chairman Elijah E. Cummings in March, Cohen’s lawyer wrote that Cohen meant he had never asked for a pardon from Trump when he vacated his joint-defense agreement with the president in June 2018, when Cohen decided to plead guilty to charges brought against him by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Before breaking off from that agreement, Cohen’s lawyers had approached Trump’s legal team about a potential pardon, one of Cohen’s lawyers, Lanny Davis, said after Cohen’s testimony in February.
In a statement in March, Cummings appeared to accept Cohen’s clarification, saying that it is the committee’s practice to “give witnesses an opportunity to clarify their testimony.”
“I do not see the need for further action — at least at this time,” Cummings said at the time.