Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said Sunday that once his party retakes control of the House, he hopes President Donald Trump’s estranged former attorney Michael Cohen will testify before Congress.
“I certainly would like to see him come in the month of January,” Cummings said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The request by Cummings, who is expected to take over the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next month, for testimony from Cohen would come ahead of the former Trump attorney’s three-year prison sentence due to start in early March.
A longtime attorney and “fixer” for Trump, Cohen has since become sharply critical of the President and described his role working for Trump as covering up his “dirty deeds.”
Cummings compared potential testimony from Cohen to that of John Dean, a White House counsel whose testimony against President Richard Nixon played a central role in his downfall.
“I think this is a watershed moment,” Cummings said, adding, “Mr. Cohen should come forward and let us know what he has on his mind.”
Cummings said he hoped Cohen would come before his committee but was open to a different venue as well.
Trump lashed out at Cohen and the FBI in a tweet on Sunday morning, and his attorney Rudy Giuliani called Cohen “pathetic” in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Remember, Michael Cohen only became a ‘Rat’ after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they break into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked’s office?” Trump tweeted.
The FBI executed search warrants on Cohen earlier this year, a move that requires the approval of a judge. Former FBI Director James Comey said as much in a tweet later on Sunday condemning Trump’s comment and calling on Republicans to speak out.
“This is from the President of our country, lying about the lawful execution of a search warrant issued by a federal judge. Shame on Republicans who don’t speak up at this moment — for the FBI, the rule of law, and the truth,” Comey tweeted.
California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is expected to chair the House Intelligence Committee in the next Congress, told CNN on Wednesday that Cohen’s legal team has been contacted about having him testify ahead of his prison sentence.
“We are very eager to have him come and testify,” Schiff said.
In his CNN interview Sunday, Cummings offered a wide array of topics he would be interested in investigating in the new Congress, with drug pricing likely to take first priority.
Additionally, he mentioned an interest in security clearance issues at the White House, questions about voter suppression, the Census and enforcement of the Affordable Care Act.
“We’re going to take a close look at this administration,” Cummings said.