GOP reps refer Michael Cohen to DOJ for alleged perjury during hearing

U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was "fully cooperative" during closed-door testimony before a congressional committee investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S election, the panel's chairman said on Thursday.

President Donald Trump claimed Friday that his former lawyer Michael Cohen shopped a book to publishers that portrayed Trump in a favorable light, vastly at odds with Cohen's damning testimony to Congress.

President Donald Trump's former lawyer has completed three days of testimony on Capitol Hill - and is coming back for another day next week - after publicly branding his former boss a racist and a con man who lied about business dealings in Russian Federation and directed him to hide extramarital relationships.

On Thursday, Reps. Jim Jordan (OH) and Mark Meadows (NC) - the two Republican congressmen who ended up generating some of the most incendiary fireworks in Cohen's testimony Wednesday - sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr referring Cohen for investigation for perjury. Representatives for Trump did not respond to the allegations at the time. But they didn't do it much, preferring to rally conservatives to the Trump cause under giant signs reading What Makes America Great in that Trump campaign font.

Cohen's testimony unfolded as Trump was in Vietnam meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In New York, for instance, Mr Cohen said he was co-operating with the US Attorney's office in Manhattan on "several other issues of investigation". Among the accusations are that Cohen falsely claimed the had never defrauded a bank, for which he has already pleaded guilty, and that he did not covet a White House job, which multiple sources have refuted, including CNN reporters. He said Trump inflated his net worth to try to secure loans and to boost his status. "I mean he lied about so many different things", said Trump, adding, "I was actually impressed that he didn't say, 'Well I think there was collusion'". His private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee was expected to last into the evening.

President Trump holds a news conference after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 28.

"Everything he wanted to say about Trump was positive", one executive who discussed the deal with Cohen told The Daily Mail, which obtained the pitch's text exclusively.


In December, Cohen pleaded guilty and received a three-year prison term in cases prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and federal authorities in NY.

During his public testimony Wednesday, Cohen gave lawmakers some information about those topics, showing them copies of checks, bank records and other agreements. Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer rattled off more than a dozen names, giving the House Oversight and Reform Committee a potential roadmap for future hearings.

Ronald Fischetti, a veteran criminal defence lawyer in NY, said Cohen could get a reduced prison term if prosecutors deem he has provided substantial help in their investigations.

That's the main question of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which Trump has repeatedly labelled a "witch-hunt".

At Wednesday's hearing, Cohen said Trump never explicitly told him to lie to Congress about the Moscow skyscraper negotiations.

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.

"My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything: my family's happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation and soon my freedom", Cohen said. Even if the money went to his charity, experts say, the money would count as "income" to Mr Trump because he directed where it went.


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