Michael Cohen To Testify Publicly In Front Of House Oversight Next Month

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images North America

President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen will testify publicly in front of the House Oversight Committee on February 7, the committee announced Thursday.

The former Trump fixer agreed to testify voluntarily, Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in a statement.

“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.

Cohen, in a statement, said he agreed to testify in “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,” he said

Cohen had been a key figure in Trump’s inner orbit for years — and played the role of attack dog in the press during the 2016 campaign — but has severed his relationship with his former boss and is cooperating in several investigations involving Trump. He has pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges related to hush money payments he facilitated for women claiming to have slept with Trump, and to other financial crimes not related to the 2016 campaign.

Trump was directly implicated by Cohen’s campaign finance guilty plea, as Cohen and prosecutors have told the court that the payments were made in coordination with the then-candidate.

Cohen has also been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and in November pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Russia related matters. Specifically, he misled Congress on the work being done on a Trump Tower project in Moscow — work that continued well into 2016, even though Cohen, Trump and others had previously claimed the project was abandoned much earlier.

Soon after his appearance in front of House Oversight was announced, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released a statement welcoming the testimony but also stressing the need for Cohen “to answer questions pertaining to the Russia investigation.”

“We hope to schedule a closed session before our committee in the near future,” Schiff said.

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