House Oversight Committee chair says there’s a ‘good chance’ the panel may call on those mentioned in Cohen’s testimony.
Washington, DC – US Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democrat chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said there’s a “good chance”, the panel would call on individuals Michael Cohen, US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, mentioned during his testimony on Wednesday.
If they were named by Cohen, “they have a good chance of hearing from us”, Cummings told reporters on Thursday, adding decisions had yet to be made by the Democrat leadership whether individuals would be called, and if that was to be for private interviews or public hearings.
This could include Trump’s son, Donald Jr, as well as former Trump CFO Allen Weissleberg.
“This weekend I will be studying the transcripts, but we have now got a number of avenues we will be going down,” Cummings said. “We learned some new information yesterday, which I am not going to talk about right now. But I want to carefully study the transcripts and we are probably going to be doing some interviews of some folks.”
Cohen gave an explosive testimony before the House committee on Wednesday, labelling Trump a “racist”, “con man” and “cheat”.
He named Weisselberg as a key player in the scheme to payoff adult film star Stormy Daniels and presented the committee with a repayment cheque signed by Donald Jr and Weisselberg.
“If there were names that were mentioned or records that were mentioned during the hearing we are going to take a look at all of that. I still need time to go through methodical [methodically], just like I did when I practised law, we will go through and figure out who we want to talk to and we will bring them in,” Cummings said.
Lawyers, Roger Stone also named
During the seven-hour hearing, Cohen also said that Trump lawyers Jay Sekulow and Abbe Lowell falsified his White House-approved statement to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 campaign.
In a statement, Sekulow called Cohen’s comments “completely false”.
Last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Tower negotiations. He also pleaded guilty to fraud and campaign finance violations. He was sentenced to three years in prison. That sentence is set to begin in May.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Cohen said he was present in Trump’s office when Roger Stone called then-candidate Trump to advise that Wikileaks planned to dump hacked emails of then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton.
Without directly mentioning Cohen’s specific comments about the alleged conversation, Stone said Cohen’s “statement is not true”.
Cohen also named a number of other Trump Organization employees during his testimony.
‘A little impressed’
Trump called Wednesday’s hearing “fake” and accused Cohen of “lying in order to reduce his prison time”.
But the president also said that he was a “little impressed” that Cohen told the committee that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
During the hearing, Cohen said he had “direct evidence” that Trump or members of his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia to get Trump elected. That’s the main question of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which Trump has repeatedly labelled a “witch-hunt”.
“I wouldn’t use the world ‘colluding’,” Cohen testified.
“Was there something odd about the back-and-forth with President Putin? Yes, but I’m not really sure I can answer that question in terms of collusion,” he said, adding, however, that he had his “suspicions”.
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