At the conclusion of today’s House Oversight Committee hearing, Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) delivered an emotional closing statement.

“You know I’ve sat here and I’ve listened to all this, and it’s very painful. It’s very painful… You made a lot of mistakes and you admitted that. You know one of the saddest parts of this whole thing is innocent people are hurting too and you acknowledged that and that is your family…

When I practiced law I respresented a lot of lawyers that got in trouble and you come saying I had made my mistakes but now I want to change my life. You know, if we, as a nation, did not give people an opportunity after they made mistakes to change their lives a lot of people would not do very well. As I sat here and listened to both sides I just felt as if — and people are now using my words that they took from me and that didn’t give me any credit. We are better than this. As a country, we are so much better than this.

For some reason Mr. Cohen I tell my children, I say when bad things happen to you, do not ask the question why did it happen for me. Ask the question why did it happen for me? I don’t know why this is happening for you. But it is my hope that a small part of it is for our country to be better. If I hear you correctly it sounds like you’re crying out for a new normal, for us getting back to normal. It sounds to me like you want to make sure that our democracy stays intact. The one meeting I had with President Trump I said to him the greatest gift that you and I, Mr. President, can give to our children is making sure that we give them a democracy that is intact.. I’m hoping that the things you said today will help us get back there. When you, according to the Washington Post, our president has made at least 8,718 false misleading statements. That’s stunning. That’s not what we teach our children. I don’t teach mine that. And for whatever reason it sounds like you got caught up in it.

I know it’s painful going to prison. I know it’s got to be painful of being called a rat… When you call somebody a rat that’s one of the worst things you can call them, a rat, because when they go to prison that means a snitch. I’m just saying. The president called you a rat… we’re better than that…

I don’t know whether they believe you. The fact is you come and you have your head down. Let me tell you the picture that really pained me.. You were leaving the courthouse and I guess it’s your daughter had braces or something on. Man, that hurt me. As a father of two daughters, it hurt me. I can imagine how it must feel for you. I’m just saying to you, I want to, first off all, thank you. I know that this has been hard. I know that you face a lot. I know that you are worried about your family, but this is a part of your destiny. Hopefully, this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Michael Cohen, better Donald Trump, a better United States of America and a better world and I mean that from the depth of my heart. 

When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?” 

Please watch below