Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

Cheryl Sanders
January 11, 2019

"This initial set of hearings will serve both goals by launching our broad review of the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs, hearing directly from President Trump's longtime personal attorney, and focusing on sweeping legislative reforms to strengthen our democracy".

U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen will testify in Congress on February 7, according to a schedule released Thursday by the House of Representatives oversight and government reform committee, now led by Democrats.

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 also pleaded guilty in August 2018 to several counts of fraud and campaign finance violations.

Those payments were at the center of Cohen's plea to federal campaign finance charges a year ago.

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".

A federal judge in Manhattan sentenced him to three years in federal prison.

An adviser to Cohen, Lanny Davis, said shortly after he was sentenced that the former political fixer wanted to testify and "state publicly all he knows".

The hearing, set for February 7 before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, was announced Thursday afternoon by Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, who is the new chairman of the committee.

Cohen has also admitted lying to Congress about a Trump Tower deal in Russian Federation during the campaign. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who was made chairman of the committee after Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, made the announcement Thursday. Cohen, a consigliere to Trump when he was a real estate developer and presidential candidate as well as informally as president, was privy to the machinations of Trump's inner circle and key moments under scrutiny by both special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in NY.

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. He told reporters on Thursday that "there will be limitations" on the topics covered in Cohen's testimony.

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.

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

"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", he said. Cohen testified that Trump had instructed him to make the payment during the 2016 presidential campaign and that he had obeyed out of "blind loyalty".

He added, "President Trump has denied the charges".

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.

Other reports by iNewsToday