Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Michael Cohen To Testify Publicly In Front Of House Oversight Next Month

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 agrees to testify before Congress after pleading guilty to fraud and deception
Patty Aguilar | 11 January, 2019, 06:15

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

They now hold the chairmanship of committees with the power to hold hearings, inviting or forcing witnesses to testify in public.

Michael Cohen, formerly the longtime attorney to President Trump, will publicly testify on Capitol Hill before he begins his three-year prison stint next month.

That means that he wants to talk.

"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 in the statement.

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.

He did make a brief statement in court in which he said he "was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands". He also thanked Cohen for agreeing to testify voluntarily.

And what stories he could tell.

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Cohen said a misplaced sense of loyalty led him to break the law for Trump.

President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, will testify publicly before Congress next month.

Cohen will appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, a government release explained Thursday.

Special Counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on Cohen's upcoming testimony before Congress, but Cummings told reporters outside an unrelated closed briefing on Thursday that his committee's questioning of Cohen will be limited to avoid publicly discussing sensitive portions of the Mueller probe.

"Last November, the American people voted overwhelmingly for Congress to do two things - address the core issues that affect their daily lives, and fulfill our Constitutional responsibility to serve as an independent check and balance on the executive branch by restoring accountability and transparency", Mr Cummings said in a statement.

The session will come just under a month before he is due to turn himself in for a three-year prison sentence.

Cohen, who served as Trump's attorney and fixer for years, came under scrutiny from federal prosecutors in NY over hush money payments he orchestrated during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, two women who alleged having extramarital affairs with Trump.

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. Trump has denied the trysts. 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. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the Intelligence Committee chairman, said in an interview last week that he was in touch with Cohen's lawyer about a possible appearance.

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