Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

The public hearing is scheduled for February 7, 2019.

Michael Cohen, formerly the longtime attorney to President Trump, will publicly testify on Capitol Hill before he begins his three-year prison stint next month.

The New Yorker, who is to begin a three-year prison sentence in March, is a pivotal figure in investigations by the special counsel Robert Mueller into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, and by federal prosecutors in New York into campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments to two women who say they had sex with Trump.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and sought to minimize Cohen's statements by painting him as a liar.

Cohen told Stephanopoulos that Trump directed him to arrange the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal because then-candidate Trump "was very concerned about how this would affect the election" if their allegations of affairs became public before voters cast their ballots.

At the time of Cohen's sentencing, federal authorities announced a deal not to prosecute American Media Inc.

Committee chairman Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) in a statement on Thursday thanked Cohen for agreeing to testify amid special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.

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At Cohen's sentencing hearing in December, a prosecutor in Mueller's office said Cohen "has provided consistent and credible information about core Russia-related issues under investigation" without elaborating.

"Mr. Cohen knows where a good numerous bodies were buried during the Trump campaign", Riopelle said.

It's unclear whether Cohen's testimony contains evidence that could lead to the impeachment of the USA president, but given the fact that Trump's casually-tweeted comments (such as criticisms of the Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell) have been correlated with major turbulence in the stock markets, the last thing the economy needs at the moment is another wild card. He added, "As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better". Cohen has already pleaded guilty to previously making false statements to Congress, in 2017 to a Senate intelligence committee about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

"Recently, the president tweeted a statement calling me 'weak, ' and he was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying", Cohen said at the time.

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 past year, determining that there was no evidence of links between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Individual 1 was a reference to Trump.

Elijah Cummings, the committee's chair, said the panel would avoid interfering with Mueller's investigation. Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, also said he would be seeking a closed door hearing with Cohen. The GOP-led committee later ended its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, saying there was no evidence of collusion or conspiracy between Trump's campaign and Russia.

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