House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, sent a letter to Deputy US Attorney Audrey Strauss Friday after the Southern District of New York revealed in a letter Thursday they had it had concluded its investigation into whether anyone else would be charged in the campaign finance scheme that Cohen pleaded guilty to last year, which was one part of Cohen’s three-year prison sentence he’s now serving.
“If prosecutors identified evidence of criminal conduct by Donald Trump while serving as President — and did not bring charges as they would have for any other individual — this would be the second time the President has not been held accountable for his actions due to his position,” Cummings wrote. “The Office of the President should not be used as a shield for criminal conduct.”
An spokesman from the Southern District of New York declined to comment on the letter. Sources have previously told CNN that as a part of the Justice Department, its prosecutors follow department guidelines.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen declined to comment when asked Friday whether the Justice Department guidelines played a factor in the decision to conclude the investigation, or whether officials in Washington played a role. “The only thing I can say is that it was handled by experienced prosecutors who looked at the law and the facts and made their conclusions on the merits,” Rosen said.
A spokesperson for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the oversight committee, said Cohen should not be considered a reliable witness as someone convicted for lying to Congress.
“But still Chairman Cummings continues to use Cohen — the Chairman’s first announced witness this Congress — to attack the President for political gain,” the spokeperson said. “Democrats in Congress should be solving real problems instead of indulging their obsession with impeaching the President.”