House Republicans Unite in Asking Michael Cohen Nothing About Donald Trump

Instead, they appear obsessed with a potential book deal for the president’s former lawyer.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

The Republican strategy going into Michael Cohen’s much-anticipated testimony before the House oversight committee revealed itself almost immediately Wednesday: Focus entirely on the president’s former lawyer and longtime fixer as a liar who is only in it for himself.

But as Republicans hammered Cohen throughout the first four hours of the hearing—repeatedly asking him about his prospects for a future book deal and whether he would renounce such an endeavor under oath—they left out a key subject: President Donald Trump, whose administration and family business are engulfed in federal investigations and who may face potential impeachment. At one point, Cohen himself noted the glaring absence of questions from Republican lawmakers regarding his former boss.

“I find it interesting, sir, that between yourself and your colleagues that not one question so far since I’m here has been asked about President Trump,” he said to ranking minority member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). “That’s actually why I thought I was coming today. Not to confess the mistakes I’ve made—I’ve already done that.”

Cohen added, “The American people don’t care about my taxes. They want to know what it is that I know about Mr. Trump. And not one question has been asked about Mr. Trump.”

Despite Cohen’s comments, Republicans on the committee kept steering clear of the damning allegations Cohen outlined in his opening remarks—above all, that Trump is a career fraudster who committed illegal acts both before and during his presidency.

During an appearance on ABC as the hearings unfolded, former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suggested that Republicans’ approach did not bode well for the president:

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate