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Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

11 January 2019
Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

While Trump was visiting the US-Mexico border, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen confirmed that he would publically testify in front of the House Oversight Committee on February 7th.

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.

President Donald Trump's longtime legal fixer, Michael Cohen, says he has accepted an invitation from a top House Democrat to testify publicly before Congress next month.

"Cohen has agreed to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee, cooperating with Robert Mueller over crimes that he says were directed by Donald Trump", Tapper 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 told ABC News. Cohen also acknowledged in the Mueller investigation that he lied to Congress by saying negotiations over a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended in January 2016 when he actually pursued the project into that June, well into Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

The public hearing is scheduled for February 7, 2019.

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.

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. Based on the description in the court documents, Individual 1 appears to be President Trump.

The announcement of Cohen's testimony is the latest sign that House Democrats plan to make oversight of every aspect of Trump's life a key part of their control of the House.

Cohen pleaded guilty in two separate cases for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress.

In the interview with Stephanopoulos, however, Cohen rejected Trump's claims as "absolutely not true".

On the subject of the payments, Trump insisted he only found out about them after they were made, despite the release of a 2016 recorded conversation in which Trump and Cohen can be heard discussing a deal to pay McDougal for her story of a 2006 affair.

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.

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

It's not yet clear whether Cohen will agree to speak to any other committees.

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 a year ago, determining that there was no evidence of links between Trump's campaign and Russian officials. Cohen's appearance in public, before national television cameras, will begin to fulfill that promise, but is likely to only be the first of a string of public testimony that could prove damaging to the president.