Shame on you, Mr Jordan Michael Cohen, 27 February 2019
'are you referring to me or the president?'
The contentious series of exchanges reached a climax during the first half of Cohen’s testimony when Representative Jim Jordan, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee, exploded at Cohen about whether he felt any guilt over his crimes.
“If this statement back here doesn’t say it all—’Cohen’s consciousness of wrongdoing is fleeting, his remorse is minimal, his instinct is to blame others is strong,’” Jordan said, gesturing to a blown-up version of the statement from the Southern District of New York, displayed on a sandwich board. “There’s only one thing wrong with that statement: his remorse is nonexistent! He just debated a member of Congress saying that I really did not do anything wrong with the false bank thing that I’m guilty of and what I’m going to prison for!”
“Mr. Jordan, that’s not what I said, and you know that’s not what I said,” Cohen shot back. “I said I pled guilty and I take responsibility for my actions.” As Jordan tried to talk over him, Cohen seemed to snap. “Shame on you, Mr. Jordan. That is not what I said. Shame on you.” He continued:
What I said is, I took responsibility and I take responsibility. What I was doing is explaining to the gentleman that his facts are inaccurate. I take responsibility for my mistakes. I am remorseful. And I am going to prison. I will be away from my wife and family for years. So before you turn around and cast more dispersion, please understand:
there are people watching you today that know me a whole lot better. I made mistakes. I own them. I didn’t fight with the Southern District of New York. I didn’t put the system through an entire scenario. But what I did do is, I pled guilty, and I will be going to prison.
Cohen’s nimble rejoinders appeared to take other members of Congress off guard. “You called Trump a cheat; what would you call yourself?” Republican James Comer asked Cohen, to which he replied, “A fool.” Comer paused before saying, “O.K., well, no comment on that.” When Rep. Mark Meadows brought out Lynne Patton, a Trump campaign staffer who is now a top official at HUD, to refute Cohen’s testimony that Donald Trump is a racist, Cohen appeared unfazed, telling Meadows to ask Patton how many black people work at the Trump Organization. “The answer is zero,” Cohen said.
Cohen turned the tables again when Rep. Paul Gosar accused him of being a “pathological liar.” “Sir, I’m sorry,” Cohen replied, “are you referring to me or the president?”