WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, a former lawyer and long-time advisor to President Donald Trump, will testify publicly before the House of Representatives' oversight committee in February, an appearance that could lead to potentially embarrassing details and staged a show. very public about his now tense relationship with The President.
Cohen, who has been sentenced to three years in prison for a series of crimes, including violations of campaign financing and tax evasion, is due to testify on Feb. 7 about his relationship with Trump that resulted in his sentence. For years, Cohen was Trump's most vocal defender in the legal, commercial and political spheres, but he went after him while federal prosecutors were busy with his business and legal relations.
"As part of my commitment to cooperate and provide answers to the American people, I have accepted the invitation of President Elijah Cummings to appear publicly … before the Government Oversight and Reform Committee. "said Cohen in a message sent to the United States today.
"I hope to have the privilege of having a platform to report in a comprehensive and credible way on the events that have taken place."
It's Cohen who acknowledged having arranged the cash payments hidden prior to the 2016 election to two women, porn star Stormy Daniel and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who had claimed to have relationships with Trump. Cohen involved the president in payments, saying that he had made them under Trump's leadership.
The payments culminated in August for Cohen to plead guilty to a series of crimes, including election campaign violations and tax evasion in the southern district of New York.
During his visit to the southern border of the United States, the president said about Cohen's testimony: "I do not worry at all."
Last month, Cohen admitted that he had lied to Congress in the investigation of Special Adviser Robert Mueller on Russia's interference in the 2016 election. He cooperated extensively with Mueller's team and has interviewed investigators seven times, offering "essential" details to the Russian investigation, according to a report from Mueller before Cohen's conviction last month.
"My own weakness was a blind loyalty to the man who had made me choose the path of darkness," said Cohen at the hearing of his sentence in New York. "Time and time again, I felt that it was my job to conceal his dirty deeds."
During the hearing, Cohen stated that he assumed "full responsibility" for the nine crimes for which he pleaded guilty – "personal crimes against me and those involving the President of the United States." United States of America ".
Cummings announced Cohen's scheduled appearance Thursday. Before the Democrats took over the presidency, Cummings had repeatedly expressed interest in obtaining Cohen's testimony.
"I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify voluntarily before the Oversight Committee," said Cummings. I want to make it clear that we have no interest in intervening inappropriately in ongoing criminal investigations. We are currently consulting the office of the special advocate Mueller. The Committee will announce additional information in the coming weeks. "
Representative Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Stated that he hoped that Mr. Cohen will also testify in camera before the House Intelligence Committee, which he now heads, about the issue. investigation of Russia.
"Mr Cohen has expressed the wish to tell his personal story in open court and we welcome his testimony before the Monitoring and Reform Committee," said Schiff in a statement. "However, it will be necessary for Mr Cohen to answer the questions relating to the Russian inquiry and we hope to hold a closed session before our committee in the near future."
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