Michael Cohen To Testify Before Congress About Work For Donald Trump
Cohen’s testimony has been set for Feb. 7 and will mark the former lawyer and “fixer'” latest effort to distance himself from the president, for whom he worked more than a decade and to whom he long appeared unwaveringly loyal.
“In furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers, I have accepted the invitation by Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), to appear publicly on February 7,” Cohen said in a statement. “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.”
Cummings has been one of many House Democrats pushing to introduce more and greater checks on the White House.
Last month, 52-year-old Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for several campaign finance violations that included making hush money payments to multiple women with whom Trump allegedly had extramarital affairs. Cohen was also charged for bank and tax fraud violations and for lying to Congress about his involvement in a Trump Tower real estate project in Moscow in 2016. He pleaded guilty twice: once in August, and then again in November. The former lawyer has since reportedly re-registered to vote as a Democrat in yet another break with Trump.
Cohen has spent more than 70 hours with prosecutors in New York and with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating potential collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government. Cummings reportedly contacted Mueller’s office to verify he wasn’t impeding the special counsel from carrying out his investigation.
Trump has rebuked Cohen multiple times since his first guilty plea, calling his former lawyer “weak.” The president has also repeatedly insisted he did nothing wrong, despite many reports showing he was also involved in the payments made to silence his former mistresses.
In an interview on CNN, Cummings compared Cohen’s impending appearance before lawmakers to that of John Dean, Richard Nixon’s White House counsel who in 1973 testified before the Senate committee that was probing the Watergate controversy, in which Dean and many other members of the Nixon administration became involved.
“This is a watershed moment,” Cummings said on CNN’s State of the Union while making the comparison between Dean and Cohen.