Michael Cohen, former Trump lawyer, to testify publicly before Congress

Evarado Alatorre
Enero 11, 2019

He went on: "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".

It promises to be a contentious hearing.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY have implicated, but not charged, the president in the deals reached in the closing weeks of the 2016 election, alleging in court filings that Cohen acted "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison December 12 by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III.

Former U.S. federal prosecutor Roland Riopelle called it "a very frightening development" for Trump.

Asked by reporters in Texas on Thursday about Cohen's appearance, Trump said he's "not anxious about it at all". "That's all now going to come out in the wide open air". In New York, he acknowledged his involvement in payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

It's unclear whether Cohen's testimony contains evidence that could lead to the impeachment of the United States 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.

In an exclusive interview after his sentencing with ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, Cohen slammed his former boss as incapable of telling the truth and faulted his own "blind loyalty" to the president for his role in the payments to the women. The Maryland representative sent letters sent a pair of letters to both the White House and the Trump Organization earlier this week following an earlier request for documents pertaining to the president's alleged failure to report debts and payments to his personal attorney "to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with the president before the election".

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When asked about the issue of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Giuliani told Fox News that "Cohen doesn't know a damn thing about collusion" and added there was "no evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors" in anything that Mueller has made public so far.

Trump and his backers also tried to downplay the payments, calling them a "simple private transaction", even though they could run foul of campaign finance laws.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who was made chairman of the committee after Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, made the announcement Thursday. He said he's speaking with Mueller's office to prevent that.

In a statement, Cohen said he accepted the invitation to appear from Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the committee's chairman, "i$3 n furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

It noted that the committee has "no interest in inappropriately interfering with any ongoing criminal investigations", and will be consulting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller beforehand. "The Committee will announce additional information in the coming weeks".

Special Counsel Robert Mueller for many months has been investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign and potential obstruction of justice. But the voters weren't fully aware of its existence.

The oversight hearing may not be Cohen's only appearance. But federal prosecutors recommended a "substantial term of imprisonment" for Cohen, saying he "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends" and claiming that his cooperation with Mueller was "overstated".

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