IN Focus: Rep. Carson on Cohen hearings, anti-hate resolution

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INDIANAPOLIS - Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) appeared on this week's edition of IN Focus to discuss several issues in the news, including the second round of closed-door hearings with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Carson sits on the House Intelligence committee, which questioned Cohen for the second time in two weeks on Wednesday.

“I think that Michael Cohen has been very cooperative with the committee, which we appreciate," said Carson.  “He’s cooperative. I didn’t say credible, but I think he’s being cooperative... I think that he’s been cooperative to the degree that the various committees have been able to issue subpoenas to bring other witnesses in. Of course, we’re going to bring other witnesses in ourselves as an intel committee to really get to the bottom of this and corroborate stories, that’s what this investigation is all about."

Carson also said he was surprised by the sentence former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort received, a more lenient 47 months compared to the twenty plus years prosecutors had suggested.

“There seems to be inequity at play but also a lot of people are saying this is just a slap on the wrist, and it’s unfortunate," said Carson. "The Trump Administration has acted like a mafia of sorts, and kind of this mob mentality is something that the American people don’t want."

Still, when it comes to the question of impeachment, Carson was slightly more restrained on the topic then in recent weeks when he told us he was "on the doorstep of impeachment."

In our interview Friday, he said "that remains to be seen."

"We’re still doing our due diligence in bringing in the appropriate witnesses, to interview them, to look and see the influence that Russia had in the Trump campaign, in the Trump apparatus and even the Trump Administration," said Carson.

The question of impeachment has divided some Democrats in recent days, with freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) making plans to file an impeachment resolution, as leadership others in the party call the move 'premature.'

Democrats also spent the week dealing with controversial comments from freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose remarks were described as anti-semitic by some in Congress.

After a heated back and forth, Democrats approved a resolution condemning all forms of hate and bigotry. Afterwards, Carson joined Omar and Tlaib to issue a joint statement on the controversy.

"When you get a deeper understanding of a person’s personal history, regardless of their race, religion, or philosophical views, we kind of see that we’re not that dissimilar. We have a lot more in common than we assume.," said Carson. "The environment is changing. We have a freshman class, a phenomenal freshman class. They’re very sharp, they’re very smart. They’re across the spectrum in terms of ideology and I think that’s a great thing, so when you have younger members, you have more season members, I think that the younger members have to respect the institutional wisdom, they have to respect the knowledge and the wisdom that more seasoned members bring to the table and the older members who have served for decades really have to respect that younger members have a fresh lens."

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) also issued a statement on the controversy, after voting for the resolution on the House floor.

"There has been a significant rise in anti-Semitic acts in our country. I continue to strongly stand against anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiments, bigotry and hate in all forms. Representative Omar from Minnesota has repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments and while I voted for the Resolution before the House of Representatives, we must go farther," said Brooks. "Democrats refuse to condemn, by name, a Democrat who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic statements. This is hypocritical and unacceptable."

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