Published: Fri, January 11, 2019

Cohen, ex-Trump lawyer, to testify publicly before Congress

Cohen, ex-Trump lawyer, to testify publicly before Congress

Michael Cohen, President Trump's onetime personal attorney, is set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on February 7, nearly exactly one month before he must report to prison to begin serving time for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress about Trump's past business dealings in Russian Federation.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who was made chairman of the committee after Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, made the announcement Thursday.

"I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily", said Cummings in a statement.

"We don't want to do anything to interfere with the Mueller investigation - absolutely nothing", Cummings said.

"I look forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired", Cohen said, according to The New York Times.

Cohen, who was recently sentenced to three years in prison after being charged with orchestrating illegal hush money payments to women alleging affairs with Trump during the 2016 election.

Cummings has signaled that his committee is more interested in investigating the president's involvement in the campaign violations to which Cohen pleaded guilty previous year. Trump has previously attacked Cohen as "a rat" and "a liar" on Twitter.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.


When asked by a reporter about Cohen's upcoming testimony during his visit to the southern border on Thursday, Trump said he isn't concerned.

Trump was directly implicated by Cohen's campaign finance guilty plea, as Cohen and prosecutors have told the court that the payments were made in coordination with the then-candidate.

Cohen, Mr Trump's self-described longtime "fixer", pleaded guilty to charges including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations in August and admitted to making false statements to Congress in November.

"COHEN asked Individual 1 about the possibility of Individual 1 traveling to Russian Federation in connection with the Moscow Project, and asked a senior campaign official about potential business travel to Russian Federation", the documents said.

The hearing marks the latest step in Cohen's transformation from a trusted legal adviser to the president to a public antagonist who has cooperated extensively against him.

The Oversight Committee apparently isn't the Capitol Hill body with which Cohen is eager to speak.

Others in Trump's personal orbit are also facing scrutiny, and House Democrats, having retaken the majority earlier this month, now have subpoena power. Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, also said he would be seeking a closed door hearing with Cohen. Cohen spoke in 2017 to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees - and later pleaded guilty to lying to them about the Trump Tower Moscow timeline - and both have indicated they want to speak to him again before he begins his jail sentence in March. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of NY is demanding acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker testify this month, and he's threatening a subpoena if Whitaker won't voluntarily appear.

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