Michael Cohen to testify before House Oversight Committee

Blanche Robertson
January 11, 2019

The Democrats promised to use their new majority in the House of Representatives to delve deeper than ever before into Donald Trump's pre-presidential background.

The public hearing is scheduled for February 7, 2019.

That means that he wants to talk.

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

"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.

He pleaded guilty in August to charges that included violating campaign finance laws and claimed he made the payments to the two women at Trump's behest.

He did make a brief statement in court in which he said he "was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands".

Mueller's team in court filings wrote that Cohen provided "useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation".

At his sentencing last month, Cohen said that he had felt a "blind loyalty" to Trump that compelled him to cover up the president's "dirty deeds", and that he was sorry to have done it. "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 in a statement.

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"I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily", he said in a statement about the upcoming hearing". He told reporters on Thursday that "there will be limitations" on the topics covered in Cohen's testimony.

A hearing could delve into the financial deals of the Trump Organisation as well as the Trump 2016 election campaign's dealings with Russian Federation, already being probed by the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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.

He said he had accepted an invitation by the panel's Democratic chairperson, US Representative Elijah Cummings, to appear publicly before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the main investigative committee of the House of Representatives.

Trump has lashed out at Cohen over his cooperation with prosecutors, recently saying Cohen "lied" and deserved to "serve a full and complete sentence". He said he's speaking with Mueller's office to prevent that.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced Thursday that Cohen will appear before the panel February 7.

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.

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.

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