GOP Oversight Committee Member Calls Cohen Hearing a 'Kangaroo Court'

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock
February 28, 2019
2mo ago

By Justin Chermol

Republican House Oversight Committee member Ralph Norman called Michael Cohen's day-long hearing on Wednesday a "kangaroo court," and said Trump's former fixer came across as a crook out to take down the president.

"This whole charade was supposed to show how the Mueller investigation was going to implicate the president. And Cohen was supposed to have all this new information. " Rep. Norman told Cheddar's J.D. Durkin Thursday. "It was a nothing-burger."

"It was a kangaroo court ー why we had somebody in who had lied to Congress once, and we had him back," Rep. Norman said, adding that he thought the hearing was "a fiasco."

Democrats, however, disagreed that the hearing exonerated the president.

After the hearing, Democratic members including Rep. Jackie Speier of California and Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. of Missouri, both of whom also serve on the House Oversight Committee, told Cheddar that Cohen's testimony implicated President Trump in potential wrongdoing.

In a blistering opening statement and then during hours of questioning by committee members, Cohen accused Trump of being a "racist," a "con man," and a "cheat." Not only did he implicate the president in financial crimes related to his campaign and charitable organization, but he also said Trump had advance knowledge that WikiLeaks was going to dump a trove of hacked Democratic emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Rep. Norman, however, was responsible for asking a question that cast doubt on allegations contained in an explosive dossier that alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia: "Have you ever been to Prague?"

Cohen's response that he has never been to the Czech Republic undermined the famous dossier, which alleged that Cohen was implicated as having traveled to Prague in the summer of 2016 to collude with the Russian officials.

Cohen has been sentenced to prison for three years for lying to Congress about the negotiations for Trump Tower Moscow and for several financial crimes, including campaign-finance violations for paying hush money to women claiming to had sex with Trump.

In the hearing on Wednesday, Cohen presented a $35,000 check signed by Trump to reimburse Cohen for a portion of a $130,000 hush money payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels.

Norman, however, dismissed that evidence.

"The payments that he alleges went to Stormy Daniels, that's old news. And, you know, let the facts investigate any information that he has, but the public's not, I don't think, [going to] buy that," Norman added.