Rep. Schiff: Michael Cohen's Testimony "Bolstered His Credibility"


PBS NEWSHOUR: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) chairs the House Intelligence Committee. He talks to Judy Woodruff about his impressions from Cohen’s Wednesday appearance in front of the House Oversight Committee, including evidence of a “code of dishonesty” in the president’s inner circle, plus what he plans to discuss when Cohen comes to his committee Thursday for a closed-door session.

JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: We know that Michael Cohen is going to be before your committee tomorrow following this. But, tomorrow, it's behind closed doors. We have just heard from a number of Republicans, including Mr. Comer, who say they just don't see credibility from Michael Cohen.

How do you respond to that?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, look, there's no question that any witness coming before Congress who has a history where they been dishonest with Congress comes in with a credibility problem.

But, at the same time, a lot of what he said today, I think, bolstered his credibility, for the reason that you mentioned. And that is -- and I say this speaking as a former prosecutor -- when people want to make things up, they generally don't do it in a half-fashion.

And so when Mr. Cohen testified, for example, that he overheard a conversation between Don Jr. and his father that, in retrospect, he recognized was about the Trump Tower in New York meeting with the Russians, if he was just determined to bury the president, he wouldn't have made any ambiguity about that.

There were also times when I thought that his testimony was quite striking, and in a very credible fashion. For example, when he testified about the rumors of a videotape of the president striking his wife in an elevator, he was very quick to come to the president's defense and say, I don't believe he would do that.

Now, that's not something you do if your agenda is just to bury the president or receive a lighter sentence. And those type of things do give a witness credibility.

I find it striking, though, Judy, listening to my colleague that you just interviewed, that there's really any question about these hush money payments. And what I found shocking today, just to hear it again said out loud, is that this illegal conduct, this conspiracy to violate the campaign finance laws, continued during the presidency, while Donald Trump was in the Oval Office.

And, you know, I think Mr. Cohen properly pointed out that Giuliani admitted to these reimbursements.

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