Nearly 90 minutes into being grilled by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime “fixer” and former personal attorney, finally had enough.
Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) went after Cohen for disputing, during questioning, whether or not he had committed bank fraud—a charge to which he pleaded guilty last year.
“Shame on you!” Cohen said, minutes after uttering the phrase: “I never defrauded any bank.”
“I would just make one point,” said Jordan. “We just had a five-minute debate where Mr. Cohen disputes what the Southern District of New York found, what the judge found—that he was actually guilty of committing bank fraud.”
Jordan added: “He just debated a member of Congress saying, ‘I really didn’t do—’”
Cohen, turning red, interrupted: “That’s not what I said. You know that’s not what I said. I said that I pleaded guilty, and I take responsibility for my actions. Shame on you, Mr. Jordan. That’s not what I said. Shame on you.”
“I took responsibility, and I take responsibility,” he continued. “What I was doing is explaining to the gentleman that his facts are inaccurate. I take responsibility for my mistakes. I am remorseful, and I am going to prison. I will be away from my wife and family for years. So before you turn around and you cast more [aspersion], please understand there are people watching you today that know me a whole lot better.”
Cohen’s opening testimony statement leaked overnight, with allegations against his former boss that ranged from racism to criminal activity. The hours-long hearing largely featured Republicans working to increasingly discredit a man who volunteered during questioning that he is “a fool.”
The former lawyer was disbarred on Tuesday, retroactive to November 2018, when he pleaded guilty to the last of several charges, including lying to Congress.
Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, warned him on Wednesday: “We will not tolerate lying to this Congress. We are in search of the truth.”
The 52-year-old has been sentenced to three years in prison, which he will likely begin serving in May.