Michael Cohen to testify before House Oversight Committee

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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump


Michael Cohen, President Trump’s onetime personal attorney, will testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb. 7, almost exactly one month before he must report to prison to begin serving time for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress about Trump’s past business dealings in Russia.

In a statement, Cohen said he accepted the invitation to appear from Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., “[i]n furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers.”

“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,” Cohen added.

Cummings said the committee was “in the process of consulting with Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller’s office” to ensure that Cohen’s scheduled testimony would not interfere with the ongoing investigation into interactions between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he welcomed Cohen’s agreement to testify, but added it would be “necessary … for Mr. Cohen to answer questions pertaining to the Russia investigation, and we hope to schedule a closed session before our committee in the near future.”

A federal judge sentenced Cohen to three years in prison last month, following a dramatic hearing at which Cohen said he felt it was his duty to cover up Trump’s “dirty deeds.” Cohen must report to prison sometime before March 6.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws by helping orchestrate payments to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who said they had sexual encounters with Trump while he was married. Prosecutors have said Cohen did so at Trump’s direction.

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Cohen’s lawyers had requested a lighter sentence, citing their client’s cooperation with the special counsel and prosecutors looking into campaign finance violations in New York. 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.”

Trump has lashed out at Cohen over his cooperation with prosecutors, recently saying Cohen “lied” and deserves to “serve a full and complete sentence.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.



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