Michael Cohen to Testify Publicly Before House

Michael Cohen

Modal Trigger Michael Cohen Getty Images

Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, will testify publicly before Congress on February 7.

Democratic lawmakers have wanted to call Cohen back to Capitol Hill since the special counsel determined Cohen lied during his previous testimony - lies that formed at least part of the foundation of a controversial investigative report that House Intelligecne Committee Republicans released a year ago, determining that there was no evidence of links between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

"I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily", the statement from U.S. Representative Elijah Cumming read.

"We don't want to do anything to interfere with the Mueller investigation - absolutely nothing", Cummings said.

Cohen cooperated with investigators - including special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of the 2016 election - in exchange for leniency in sentencing on charges that included campaign finance violations.

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Cohen has admitted to offering "hush-money" to two women regarding their affairs with Donald Trump, paying porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal in exchange for their silence regarding their alleged sexual affairs with the president.

On Thursday, Cohen said in a statement that he had accepted Cummings' invitation to testify "in furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

Cohen also lied about whether he and Trump, referred to as "Individual 1" in the November court documents, discussed planning a trip to Russian Federation during the campaign.

When entering his guilty plea in court, Cohen told the judge he made the false statements "to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and to be loyal to Individual 1".

"I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump - and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies", Davis said in a statement at the time.

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Cohen has a track record of erratic and unethical behavior, caught on tape at one point threatening a Daily Beast reporter with complete financial and social ruin if he published a story with the words "Trump" and "rape" regarding an accusation made by Trump's first wife. Cohen earlier pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe of alleged collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation to making false statements to Congress about an abandoned Trump Tower project in Moscow.

The committee has a hearing with Cohen posted on its public schedule.

The Oversight Committee apparently isn't the Capitol Hill body with which Cohen is eager to speak.

Cohen has testified behind close doors to both the Senate and the House previously, some of which led to his conviction on lying to Congress.

Others in Trump's personal orbit are also facing scrutiny, and House Democrats, having retaken the majority earlier this month, now have subpoena power. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of NY is demanding acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker testify this month, and he's threatening a subpoena if Whitaker won't voluntarily appear.

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