Michael Cohen to testify publicly before Congress next week
President Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen will appear publicly before lawmakers on Capitol Hill next week, just weeks before he’s set to report to federal prison. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced the date for Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday.
Cohen, who will begin a 3-year prison sentence in early May, wasto testify before Cumming’s committee on Feb. 7, but citing threats to his family. His congressional testimony has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, Feb. 27. Cohen will appear before the House Intelligence Committee in closed session the next day.
“I am pleased to announce that Michael Cohen’s public testimony before the Oversight Committee is back on, despite efforts by some to intimidate his family members and prevent him from appearing,” Cummings wrote in a statement Wednesday night. “Congress has an obligation under the Constitution to conduct independent and robust oversight of the Executive Branch, and this hearing is one step in that process.”
In his announcement, Cummings also outlined the scope of next week’s high-profile hearing. The powerful Maryland Democrat said his committee will “address the President’s payoffs, financial disclosures, compliance with campaign finance laws, business practices, and other matters.”
The agenda of the hearing does not include any inquiries about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections and possible coordination between 2016 Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin. Cohen has agreed to cooperate with the Mueller probe.
Promoting a GoFundMe page designed to help him and his family as “he goes forward on his journey to tell the truth about Donald Trump,” Cohen tweeted that he was looking forward to the hearing. “The schedule has now been set. Looking forward to the #American people hearing my story in my voice! #truth,” he wrote Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, a federal judge in New Yorkto delay the start of his prison sentence by 60 days. In December, Cohen was for violating campaign finance law “in coordination with and at the direction” of the president by paying two women to remain silent during the 2016 campaign about their alleged affairs with Mr. Trump. The president has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In a separate case, Cohen was also sentenced to two months in prison after pleading guilty in November to lying to Congress about his involvement in an effort to build a “Trump Tower” in Moscow during the 2016 campaign. In the plea agreement, Cohen admitted to lying to the Senate and House intelligence committees about the project and the extent to which then-candidate Trump and his family were involved.