Snitch: Trump Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen to Testify on Capitol Hill

Pauline Gross
January 11, 2019

President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen said on Thursday he had agreed to testify publicly before a congressional panel on February 7, as U.S. House of Representatives Democrats began kicking off numerous investigations of Trump, his business interests and his administration.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced Thursday that Cohen will appear before that panel February 7, a little more than a month after the Democrats took the House majority.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the new chairman of the oversight and government reform committee, thanked Cohen for agreeing to testify.

Cohen said he will "give a full and credible account of the events that have transpired".

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in federal prison for financial crimes, lying to Congress, and for two violations of campaign finance law in connection with hush money payments to two women who have claimed past affairs with Trump.

Cummings said the committee has no intention of interfering in ongoing criminal probes.

Cohen has pleaded guilty in both investigations and was sentenced last month to three years in prison.

Individual 1 was a reference to Trump.

Cohen, 52, also pleaded guilty to eight separate counts, including campaign finance violations, that he said were carried out at the direction of Trump.

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Cohen's testimony also comes after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his role in a Trump business proposal in Russian Federation considered during the campaign.

Cohen's cooperation with Mueller prompted a falling out with his former client, with Trump attacking Cohen on Twitter, including accusing him of lying to try to lessen his jail sentence. He told reporters on Thursday that "there will be limitations" on the topics covered in Cohen's testimony.

The payments made or orchestrated to women during the campaign - to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - to stay silent about alleged sexual encounters with Trump are also sure to be a hot topic at the congressional hearing.

In a statement, Cohen said he made the decision to testify voluntarily before Congress in furtherance of his effort to "commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

Mr Cohen once professed to be so loyal to Mr Trump that he would take a bullet for his boss.

Cohen testified before the House intelligence panel in 2017, before his role in the federal investigations was fully known and when Republicans controlled the panel.

In a statement Thursday, Schiff said he was glad to see Cohen would appear in public, but would press ahead in trying to secure another, private appearance before his own committee "in the near future" to discuss matters related to Russian Federation.

His testimony will be the first major public hearing for Democrats, who have promised greater scrutiny of Mr Trump.

"Mr. Cohen has expressed an interest in telling his personal story in open session, and we welcome his testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Reform", said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), head of the House Intelligence Committee.

Other reports by GizPress

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