Michael Cohen, during his explosive testimony before the House oversight committee on Wednesday, accused Republican lawmakers of trying to protect President Donald Trump.
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) asked Trump’s former personal attorney when he decided during his life to start telling the truth. Cohen was convicted in November of lying to Congress about his involvement in a Trump Tower Moscow deal during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“There are several factors: my psyche, Charlottesville, watching the daily destruction of our civility to one another, putting up silly things like this,” Cohen responded, referring to anti-Cohen posters that GOP committee members had erected ahead of Wednesday’s heated hearing.
Republican committee members used most of their time for questions to attack Cohen’s credibility. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) used Department of Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton, who is black, as a prop in an attempt to debunk Cohen’s allegation that Trump is racist.
Cohen bashed the relentless Republican attacks against him during the hearing as “really unbecoming of Congress.”
“It’s that sort of behavior that I’m responsible for,” he said. “I’m responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you’re doing now for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years.”
“I can only warn people: The more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering,” he said.
He then lamented that he had “lost it all” since working for Trump.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), during his allocated time slot for questioning, suggested his Republican counterparts were upset because Cohen “stopped lying to Congress for the president.”
This story has been updated to include Raskin’s comments.