President Trump pushed the argument Sunday evening that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff was complicit in “colluding” with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and should be investigated for ethics violations.
Upon returning to Washington, D.C., after a weekend trip to Florida, the president retweeted reports and commentary about Cohen being coached before his public testimony before the House Oversight Committee last month.
“If Schiff wasn’t coaching Cohen on how to go after Trump before his testimony and was just going over procedural issues, why didn’t he invite GOP staff to sit in on these secret meetings? Schiff must be recused from future hearings while Ethics investigates his witness tampering,” said ones of those tweets from Paul Sperry, a conservative author and political commentator at the right-leaning Hoover Institute.
If Schiff wasn't coaching Cohen on how to go after Trump before his testimony and was just going over procedural issues, why didn't he invite GOP staff to sit in on these secret meetings? Schiff must be recused from future hearings while Ethics investigates his witness tampering
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) March 9, 2019
Trump also shared tweets from Tom Fitton, the president of conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, who said Schiff was mired in another “ethics scandal.”
.@RepAdamSchiff has another ethics scandal as a result of his and his staff colluding with Cohen on his testimony, which was littered with lies, about @RealDonaldTrump. https://t.co/yAVLDrLEAV pic.twitter.com/rhtmd4mMpT
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 10, 2019
Last week, Cohen told House investigators that staff for Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York four times to meet with him for a total of 10 hours about a variety of topics right before his appearance before the oversight panel, according to Fox News.
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., suggested there was “witness tampering” and fellow Republican member, Rep. Mike Turner wrote a letter to Cohen demanding answers. “Clearly, there will be questions as to whether or not such contacts, if they occurred, constitute witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or collusion, collaboration, and cooperation between the House Democratic majority, their staff, and you,” the Ohio lawmaker wrote.
Both Schiff’s and Cohen’s teams argued they did nothing wrong.
“We are running a professional investigation in search of the facts, and we welcome the opportunity to meet with potential witnesses in advance of any testimony to determine relevant topics to cover in order to make productive use of their time before the Committee,” Schiff spokesman Patrick Boland said. “Despite this professed outrage by Republicans, it’s completely appropriate to conduct proffer sessions and allow witnesses to review their prior testimony before the Committee interviews them — such sessions are a routine part of every serious investigation around the country, including congressional investigations.”
Schiff denied that he himself met with Cohen in the pre-testimony meetings.
Sorry, Mr. Trump and Mr. Meadows. I was not part of any of the staff proffer sessions with Mr. Cohen.
You really should be more careful about making or propagating false statements if you wish to condemn Cohen and others.
I’m sure it was unintentional…. pic.twitter.com/DS2wote6Ri
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 9, 2019
Lanny Davis, who represents Cohen, told the Daily Beast that Schiff’s staff focused on going over Cohen’s 2017 testimony. “It’s completely appropriate, and he would have done the same thing for Republicans had they asked,” Davis said.
Cohen, who has already been convicted and disbarred for lying to Congress once before, is facing a fresh wave of allegations that he lied to Congress.
Trump said Friday that Cohen perjured himself last week when he testified before Congress that he never sought a pardon.
Cohen also testified that he was offered a White House job, but turned it down to protect Trump’s attorney-client privilege. However, Trump’s sons cast doubt on Cohen’s assertion, alleging their father’s former personal attorney was once “lobbying” for the White House chief of staff position, and a November 2016 video of Cohen indicates he lied under oath about it.
Cohen will report for a three-year prison sentence in May after pleading guilty to bank and tax fraud, a campaign finance violation, and lying to Congress about 2016 talks to build a Trump skyscraper in Russia.
Author: Daniel Chaitin
Source: Washingtonexaminer: Trump pushes claims that Adam Schiff ‘colluded’ with Michael Cohen ahead of public hearing