Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

Michael Cohen President Trump's former lawyer departs United States Federal Court under heavy security after being sentenced to three years in prison in New York New York on Dec. 12 2018

Michael Cohen President Trump's former lawyer departs United States Federal Court under heavy security after being sentenced to three years in prison in New York New York on Dec. 12 2018

Donald Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen, has agreed to testify in a public hearing before the House Oversight Committee on February 7, lawmakers announced Thursday.

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison for his role in making illegal hush-money payments to two women to help Trump in 2016 in violation of campaign laws, and for lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Russian Federation.

In a statement to CNN, Cohen said he agreed to testify "in furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

The chairman of the oversight panel, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said the committee is consulting with Mueller's office about the testimony. He said he's speaking with Mueller's office to prevent that.

Cohen said that he would bury the reporter under financial problems forever, saying "what I'm going to do to you is going to be f*cking disgusting", and adding that it wasn't possible by definition to rape one's spouse, a comment he was later compelled to apologize for making. Cummings is also requesting a raft of potentially revealing communications about the payments and other legal services Cohen provided for the president and his company. Trump has denied having the extramarital affairs.

Democratic lawmakers have wanted to call Cohen back to Capitol Hill since the special counsel determined Cohen lied during his previous testimony - lies that formed at least part of the foundation of a controversial investigative report that House Intelligecne Committee Republicans released past year, determining that there was no evidence of links between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

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"Recently, the president tweeted a statement calling me 'weak, ' and he was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying", Cohen said at the time.

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.

"I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump - and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies", Davis said in a statement at the time. On the House Intelligence Committee, for instance, Chairman Adam Schiff of California has said he will issue a subpoena if necessary to obtain Donald Trump Jr.'s phone records to find out who Trump's son called when Trump Jr. called a number blocked in phone records while setting up the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

Cohen's 2017 congressional testimony before the Senate intelligence and House intelligence committees led to a guilty plea in November 2018 for lying under oath about Trump's business dealings in Russian Federation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller for many months has been investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 us presidential election, possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign and potential obstruction of justice.

"We hope to schedule a closed session before our committee in the near future", Schiff said.

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