In the first two hours of Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee, most of the Republicans on the committee spent their questioning time calling Cohen a liar and pointing to specific ways in which Cohen’s credibility in question.
However, in one bizarre moment, a Republican Congressman accused Cohen of a very strange lie.
Early on in the hearing, Congressman Mark Green of Tennessee went through a list of things that he said Cohen had lied about. He called Cohen a “self-serving fraud” and a “fake witness.” And then Representative Green said something else, per The Hill.
“This guy even lied about delivering his own child — his wife had to correct the record on that.”
It’s unclear what the origin of this assertion is. There doesn’t appear to have been any reporting, throughout any of Cohen’s time in public life, of Cohen having claimed that he delivered his own child — or that his wife contradicted the claim.
Cohen, at least prior to his disbarment this week, was a lawyer — not a doctor. Cohen has two children, a son and daughter, who are both college-aged. And throughout his testimony, Cohen has repeatedly referenced his family, and how upset he is that he’ll be away from them when he goes to prison later this year. In fact, he had delayed a previous session before Congress because of reported threats to his family.
"Apparently he even lied about delivering his own child, which his wife had to correct the record" ???? fantastic pic.twitter.com/LYPLjdu100
— Shem Horne (@Shem_Infinite) February 27, 2019
On the eve of Cohen’s testimony, a Republican member of Congress, Matthew Gaetz of Florida, sent a tweet in which he appeared to be threatening to expose extramarital affairs by Cohen. Gaetz questioned whether Cohen’s wife would remain faithful to him when he goes to prison. Gaetz’s tweet was widely likened to witness intimidation, and he later apologized and took down the tweet.
In the first two and a half hours of the testimony, the question of “girlfriends” had not been raised, although Gaetz appeared in the hearing room prior to the start of the hearing, despite not being a member of the House Oversight Committee.
One particularly notorious story involving Trump and Cohen’s family was reported by The Wall Street Journal in 2018. When Cohen’s son celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in 2012, Trump said he would attend, but the blessings were delayed when Trump showed up late. Then, the future president got up and gave a speech in which he told the assembled guests that Cohen, his children, and his secretary had begged him to attend, even though he hadn’t planned to.