Government

Grassley: Cohen has 'lied to Congress before'

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) smiles as he discusses the confirmation vote for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh as he exits the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) smiles as he discusses the confirmation vote for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh as he exits the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

By lunchtime in Washington, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley had yet to hear “one word” of televised testimony from Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former attorney who Wednesday publicly accused the president of being a “racist,” “con man” and “cheat.”

Even so, the Iowa Republican cast doubt about what Cohen was telling the House Oversight Committee, saying “he’s lied to Congress before.”

“If there’s some sort of evidence of any sort of wrongdoing … he ought to turn it over to the Congress — and if he did that I’d be interested in reviewing it,” Grassley said as the hearing was underway. “But I happen to be very skeptical that there’s much of substance or else I think that he would’ve received a better plea agreement than he did from the prosecutors and wouldn’t have been going to jail.”

The senator’s comments came amid a dramatic day of testimony before the U.S. House Oversight Committee, where a panel of lawmakers grilled Cohen about his assertion that the president had knowledge of a conspiracy to release internal Democratic National Committee emails and a slew of other accusations.

Cohen has pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to members of Congress about a potential development deal in Russia and, separately, for violating campaign finance laws among other financial crimes.

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