Ex-SDNY prosecutor slams GOP for Cohen attacks: 'The government didn't pick him as their witness — Trump did'
President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen arrives for sentencing. (AFP / COREY SIPKIN)

The former U.S. Attorney with the Southern District of New York panned Republicans for attacking the credibility of Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen during his congressional testimony — by noting that it was their party's president who propped him up in the first place.

GOP congressmen like Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) are missing the forest for the trees when attacking Cohen's credibility, ex-U.S. Attorney David Kelly told MSNBC's Ari Melber Thursday.

"They need to remember, the government didn't pick Cohen as their witness — Trump did," Kelly said.

"This is a person who Trump chose to have by his side for ten years or more," the ex-prosecutor added. "And Jim Jordan, those folks who have been former prosecutors, know well that the way you find out about what the bad people do is you get somebody who is close to the bad person, who is bad themselves."

Kelly admitted that although Cohen "may have credibility problems," prosecutors comb through in attempts to corroborate what witnesses like him tell them.

"When you talk about attempts to evade, and you know, there's ways to break through that," the ex-U.S. Attorney said.

"There's lots of different pieces of evidence that they may put together to show, you know, to say that what Cohen was saying about how the president would interact and send messages and speak to code — there's ways of finding that pattern through conduct and how other witnesses may describe it," he added.

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