Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to testify in public before Congress

BREAKING: Michael Cohen to Testify Publicly Before House

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, has accepted an invitation to testify in an open session before Congress next month.

On December 12, Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in prison after pleading guilty in August to eight federal crimes, including two large payoffs to silence women who claimed to have affairs with Trump.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said the committee had given the White House and the Trump Organisation until 22 January to produce documents related to the hush payments.

Like it or not, Cohen will be airing the administration's dirty laundry under oath in front of a government committee in February, something which is likely to cost traders, economists, and of course, President Trump himself, a few nights' sleep at the very least.

Cohen said Trump directed him to make the payments because of concern about how they might affect the election campaign, adding that, "nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump". Cohen was part of Trump's inner circle and his testimony could shed more light on issues scrutinized by special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump told reporters in McAllen, Texas, on Thursday that he was "not worried" about Cohen's testimony "at all".

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.

The president has assailed the various investigations, while Russian Federation has denied trying to interfere in the 2016 election for the purposes of sowing discord and improving Trump's prospects.

Cohen has testified behind close doors to both the Senate and the House previously, some of which led to his conviction on lying to Congress.

The president has denied the affairs but has deployed shifting explanations about when he learned about the payments to the women.

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

The newly installed chairmen of at least two other panels, the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, have said they want to speak with Cohen about his work on behalf of Trump.

"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.

But because he pleaded guilty he was never cross-examined on details of his dealings with Mr Trump.

It was unclear if Cohen's agreement to testify before the Oversight Committee will preclude appearances, in public or private, before other House panels.

He added, "As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better".

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.

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