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

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:


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

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


Support our journalism

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


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.