Ex-Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Will Testify Publicly Before Congress Ahead of Entering Prison
January 11, 2019
Michael Cohen’s newfound quest for truth isn’t over yet.
The admitted liar and former personal fixer to President Donald Trump announced Thursday he will testify publicly about his boss’s alleged misdeeds next month — just weeks before he’s slated to start serving a three-year prison sentence for the crimes he has pleaded guilty to.
In a rare statement, Cohen said he had accepted an invitation from House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings to testify before the panel on Feb. 7 “in furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers.”
“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.
The Cohen grilling proves the first major Trump-related undertaking by the new Democratic-controlled House.
Cummings, D-Md., said his interview will primarily focus on the campaign finance crimes Cohen committed — and implicated Trump in — by paying off two women ahead of the 2016 election in exchange for their keeping mum about allegedly having sex with the President over a decade ago.
“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.
Separately, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said his panel wants to grill Cohen behind closed doors “in the near future” as part of his panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Cohen, 52, who used to say he’d be willing to “take a bullet” for Trump, is set to report to prison on March 6 over the laundry list of crimes he admitted, a number of which he said he committed at the direction of the President or out of a flawed sense of “loyalty” to him.
Among Cohen’s confessed crimes were lying to Congress about plans to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 campaign.
Speaking to reporters during a border visit to Texas, Trump said he’s “not worried” about Cohen’s testimony “at all.”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s top attorney in the Mueller probe, shrugged off Cohen’s announcement and claimed he’s testifying as a last-ditch attempt to reduce his prison term.
“You never heard of a motion to reduce sentence for cooperation? I did it to people,” Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor known for putting mobsters behind bars, told the New York Daily News. “He has a bigger motive to lie now than ever before. He doesn’t want to serve a single day in prison.”
Cohen’s relatively lengthy prison sentence was the result of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan blasting him for not being completely forthcoming about some of his own crimes, including tax and bank fraud.
Mueller’s team, however, gave Cohen plenty of credit for going “significant lengths” to assist the special counsel investigation into whether Russians colluded with the president’s 2016 campaign.
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