Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) moved to close the Michael Cohen hearing Wednesday after Trump’s former personal attorney showed “disdain” for the House Oversight Committee by delivering his written testimony and evidence to the committee a few hours before the hearing started.
Meadows contended that the lawmakers should adjourn the hearing because Michael Cohen and his lawyer revealed testimony and evidence only a few hours before the hearing began, in violation of committee rules. Meadows reminded House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) that witnesses testimony and evidence need to submit evidence at last 24 hours before the hearing.
The North Carolina congressman said:
Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order. Rule Nine F says that any testimony from a witness needs to be here 24 hours in advance and the chairman knows well at 10:08 we received the written testimony and then we received evidence this morning at 7:54 a.m. Now, if this was just an oversight Mr. Chairman, I could look beyond it, but it was an intentional effort by this witness and his advisers to once again show his disdain for this body and with that I move that we postpone this hearing.
Cummings tried to reassure Meadows, saying that Democrats also got the evidence “late last night.”
With all due respect, Mr. Chairman, this is a violation of the rule and if it was not intentional and I would not have a problem, I’m not saying it was intentional on your part, I’m saying it’s intentional on his [Cohen’s] part, because Mr. Dean last night, on a cable news network actually made it all very evident.
He said [Dean] as a former committee counsel in the House Judiciary Committee and then a long-term witness, sitting alone at the table is important, quote ‘holding your statement, as long as you can so the other side can’t chew it up is important as well.’
“Mr. Chairman when you were in the minority, you wouldn’t have stood for it. We should not stand for it as a body,” Rep. Meadows added.
Jordan then suggested CNN had the evidence and testimony before many members of the House Oversight Committee received it.
The Ohio conservative asked rhetorically, “You knew who had this material before all of the members of the committee? CNN had it before we did.”
Meadows then asked for a recorded vote on the motion to table the hearing. The motion did not pass, and the hearing continued.
Cummings then said, suggesting that, although Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, the American public could decide whether Cohen will serve as a credible witness.
“You have made it clear that you don’t want the American people to hear what he has to say, but the American people have a right to hear him. So we’re going to proceed,” Cummings said. “The American can judge his credibility for themselves.”