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Michael Cohen to testify publicly before Congress in February

Michael Cohen to testify publicly before Congress in February”

President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, will testify publicly before a House committee next month in a hearing that could serve as the opening salvo of a promised Democratic effort to scrutinize Trump, his conflicts of interest and his ties to Russian Federation.

"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 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. It's unclear what Cohen will be allowed to talk about in the hearing and what Robert Mueller, or prosecutors in NY, will want him to keep to himself.

Cohen said in a statement he had accepted an invitation by the panel's Democratic chairman, US Representative Elijah Cummings, to appear publicly before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on February 7 (local time).

President Donald Trump speaks to the media after signing Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation in the Oval Office on January 9, 2019 in Washington. Cummings is also requesting a raft of potentially revealing communications about the payments and other legal services Cohen provided for the president and his company.

The president has denied the affairs but has deployed shifting explanations about when he learned about the payments to the women.

On the issue of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Giuliani says, "Cohen doesn't know a damn thing about collusion".

In a statement, Cohen said he made the decision to testify voluntarily before Congress in furtherance of his effort to "commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

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 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 announcement of Cohen's testimony is the latest sign that House Democrats plan to make oversight of every aspect of Trump's life a key part of their control of the House.

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.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller for many months has been investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election, possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign and potential obstruction of justice.

"Mr. Cohen has expressed an interest in telling his personal story in open session, and we welcome his testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Reform", said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), head of the House Intelligence Committee.

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



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