Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillSunday shows preview: 2020 field begins to take shape Dems under fire put brakes on Omar resolution Democratic tensions bubble up after GOP amends gun bill MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects House Oversight Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCrucifixion or freedom? Stay tuned to the aftermath for Michael Cohen White House rejects Dem request to interview ex-Trump aide Questions mount over Cohen pardon claims MORE (D-Md.) will ultimately refer longtime Trump associate Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenCrucifixion or freedom? Stay tuned to the aftermath for Michael Cohen Bill Maher to CPAC head: ‘Basically, Fox News is running our government’ White House rejects Dem request to interview ex-Trump aide MORE to the Department of Justice for alleged perjury related to his testimony late last month.
Hill, a member of the Oversight panel, said on “Fox News Sunday” that she’s unsure if Cohen lied to lawmakers when he said he “never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from” Trump, despite reports that his former attorney raised the idea with the president’s lawyers last year.
“I don’t know if he lied or not,” Hill said. “I think that this is, Chairman Cummings is incredibly deliberate. I know that he’s reviewing the entire testimony, all the transcripts with [ranking member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanQuestions mount over Cohen pardon claims The Hill’s Morning Report – A rough week for House Dems Cummings says he needs to examine Cohen’s testimony further amid GOP allegations of perjury MORE (R-Ohio)], who also is going to make sure that we get to the bottom of this.”
Lanny Davis, who currently represents Cohen, told The Wall Street Journal last week that Cohen directed his then-attorney last summer “to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders pledges to support Democratic nominee in 2020 CNN’s Zucker: Fox News is a ‘propaganda outlet’ Warren struggles to gain traction amid Sanders surge MORE.”
The Journal had previously reported that Cohen’s former lawyer raised the possibility of a pardon with Giuliani and other Trump attorneys after an April FBI raid of Cohen’s home and office.
Davis said Cohen only explored the possibility of a pardon while he was in a “joint defense” agreement with Trump. He left that agreement in July last year.
“But after July 2, 2018, Mr. Cohen authorized me as a new lawyer to say publicly Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from President Trump even if offered,” Davis said in a statement to The Hill. “That continues to be the case. And his statement at the Oversight Hearing was true — and consistent with his post joint defense agreement commitment to tell the truth.”
Referring to reports that Cohen’s attorneys discussed a pardon with Trump’s attorneys, Hill said she doesn’t know “how that went down exactly,” but she believes Cummings will end up referring Cohen to the DOJ over his testimony.
“I would imagine that in the panic that was going on when you’re about to go down, right, that you’re going to say like ‘yeah, figure out whatever you can do,'” Hill said. “And I imagine that Chairman Cummings will end up referring him. That’s just my guess.”
“When Chairman Cummings says something like I’m going to nail you to the cross, he means it,” Hill said, a reference to Cummings’ warning to Cohen at the outset of the hearing earlier this month.
Cohen, who worked for roughly a decade as Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, implicated the president in potentially criminal activity during his explosive day of testimony in late February. Jordan and Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsQuestions mount over Cohen pardon claims Cummings says he needs to examine Cohen’s testimony further amid GOP allegations of perjury Trump: ‘Weirdo’ Tom Steyer ‘all talk’ MORE (R-N.C.) have already referred Cohen to the DOJ for perjury over separate comments.
Cohen is facing a three year prison sentence after pleading guilty last year to tax fraud, bank fraud, campaign finance law violations and lying to Congress over the timing of a Trump Tower development in Moscow.