WASHINGTON — Democrats in the House have just scheduled their first must-see TV moment since capturing the majority: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), announced that Cohen would appear voluntarily.
“I want to make clear that we have no interest in inappropriately interfering with any ongoing criminal investigations, and to that end, we are in the process of consulting with Special Counsel Mueller’s office,” Cummings said. “The Committee will announce additional information in the coming weeks.”
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison last month after pleading guilty in September to a series of charges, including campaign finance violations. When he was sentenced, he told the judge that when he served as Trump’s personal lawyer, it was “my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.” He implicated Trump in an effort to pay hush money to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. The women claimed to have had sexual relations with Trump.
In a statement, Cohen said that he accepted Cummings’ invitation “in furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers.”
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“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,” he said.
Cohen also pled guilty in November to lying to Congress over the timeline of when Cohen had discussed the development of a Trump Tower in Russia with officials linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Initially, Cohen had said those talks ended before 2016, when in fact they extended well into 2016, as Trump secured the Republican nomination.
Cohen appeared before the House and Senate intelligence committees in October, 2017, but that testimony was in private.
Trump’s legal team has repeatedly called Cohen as a liar. Trump himself has lashed out at Cohen, accusing him of being “weak” in working with Mueller in an effort to get a reduced sentence.
During his visit to the border on Thursday in McAllen, Texas, Trump was asked whether he was concerned over Cohen’s public testimony, which likely will get wall-to-wall coverage on cable news networks.
“I’m not worried about it at all,” he said.