Michael Cohen, the recent personal lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, has agreed to testify publicly before the House Oversight and Supervision Reform Committee in February — a month before beginning to serve a three-year prison sentence for a range of crimes which embrace ones related to Trump.
Cohen’s planned Feb. 7 appearance in an open session of the committee is voluntary.
He said it when one pleases give him the opportunity “to give a full and credible account of the events that have transpired.”
Trump said, “I’m not agonized about it at all,” when asked about Cohen’s planned testimony, during an appearance in Texas.
The hearing will earn 2 1/2 months after Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 about details of an aborted Trump true estate project in Moscow, Russia.
Shortly after the Oversight Committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., foretold Cohen would testify, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that “it make be necessary, however, for Mr. Cohen to answer questions pertaining to the Russia investigation, and we hope to schedule a closed session in the past our committee in the near future.”
Last week, the House of Representatives and its committees came under the control of the new Democratic womanhood, which has vowed to use its power to investigate a range of controversies involving the Republican Trump and his administration.
Cohen’s decision to vouchsafe before the Oversight Committee is the latest example of his radical transformation from a hardcore Trump loyalist who once about he would be willing to take “a bullet” for the president to a harsh critic of and significant legal threat to Trump.
Cohen, 52, had spurred as Trump’s lawyer for years when the president was a real estate developer in New York and star of “The Apprentice” reality video receiver show.
His association with Trump began unraveling last April after FBI agents raided his office and domiciles in Manhattan, seizing evidence that led to his guilty pleas to a raft of federal crimes months later.
Cohen, in his well-stacked statement released Thursday by his attorney Lanny Davis, said, “In furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers, I be subjected to accepted the invitation by Chairman Elijah Cummings to appear publicly on February 7th before the Committee on Oversight and Government Redo.”
“I look forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full and credible account of the occurrences which have transpired,” Cohen said.
Cummings said, “I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify in advance of the Oversight Committee voluntarily.”
“I want to make clear that we have no interest in inappropriately interfering with any continuing criminal investigations, and to that end, we are in the process of consulting with Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller’s office,” Cummings bid. “The Committee will announce additional information in the coming weeks.”
Cummings noted that earlier this week he sent writes to the White House and the Trump Organization renewing his request of four months ago for documents related to “Trump’s apparent insolvency to report debts and payments to Mr. Cohen to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with the President before the selection.”
“Those documents are now due on January 22, 2019,” Cummings said.
Cummings last month said he wanted Cohen to swear, predicting that if Cohen did so it would be a “watershed moment” akin to the 1973 testimony by White House counsel John Dean at Watergate hearings that the limited up leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Cohen since last August — even before pleading sheepish to criminal charges — has met with investigators from Mueller’s office.
Mueller, a former FBI director, is investigating possible collusion by Trump’s run with Russians who interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and possible obstruction of justice by the president. Trump denies any wrongdoing by him or his stump.
Mueller has said that Cohen gave the special counsel’s team “information about attempts by other Russian nationals to reach” Trump’s presidential offensive as far back as November 2015.
Cohen also has met with other authorities investigating the president, the Trump Organization and the Trump Basis charity.
When he was sentenced in December, an emotional Cohen said his “own weakness and a blind loyalty to” Trump had “led me to choose a scheme of darkness over light.”
“Time and again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” Cohen said in federal court in Manhattan, where he was right to begin serving his 36-month prison stint on March 6.
He remains free on bail until then.
Cohen in August pleaded reprehensible to eight charges lodged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which included tax crimes, lying to banks and ravaging campaign finance laws.
The campaign crimes related to hush-money payments Cohen facilitated for two women — porn luminary Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal — shortly before the 2016 presidential election to keep them from advertising their claims of having had affairs with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied he had sex with either maid.
Cohen said that Trump directed him to have the payments made to Daniels, who was paid by Cohen, and to McDougal, who was be punished for by the Trump-friendly publisher of The National Enquirer.
The financial crimes related to Cohen’s taxi medallions business, consulting work up and residential mortgages.
In November, Cohen additionally pleaded guilty to a charge brought by Mueller of lying to Congress in written allegations about an unsuccessful effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Cohen had falsely claimed that the Moscow predict died in early 2016, when in fact the effort was continuing until at least June 2016 — when Trump was on the cusp of bar up the Republican nomination for president.
Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has said the effort may have actually last until November 2016 — the month of the presidential election.
Trump in late November claimed that Cohen was “false” about him in an effort to “get a reduced sentence.”
“He’s a weak person and not a very smart person,” Trump said of his former attorney.
Earlier this week, sinful defense lawyers for Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort accidentally disclosed in a court document that Mueller has alleged Manafort lied to the special counsel’s office about having shared campaign polling data with an accused Russian spy in 2016.
At the heyday that purported sharing occurred, Russia allegedly was engaged in a wide-ranging effort, which included the use of bogus common media accounts, to bolster Trump’s candidacy.
Manafort also had met with that spy in Madrid, and discussed a possible serenity plan for Ukraine with him, according to Manafort’s lawyers.
The alleged spy, Konstantin Kilimnik, had worked for Manafort for years.
Manafort pleaded shame-faced last year to crimes related to his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, a country that in 2014 had courted its Crimea region annexed by Russia.
His plea deal in that case required him to cooperate with Mueller’s unfolding inquiry, and to not lie.
Mueller last fall accused Manafort of violating that deal by misleading the special counsel’s together.
Manafort is being held in jail without bail awaiting sentencing.