Trump’s ‘rat’ ex-lawyer Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

Michael Cohen President Donald Trump's former lawyer leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York Wednesday Dec. 12 2018

Cohen, who served as Trump's attorney and fixer for years, came under scrutiny from federal prosecutors in NY over hush money payments he orchestrated during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, two women who alleged having extramarital affairs with Trump.

Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the committee's chairman, said in a statement on Thursday that he understands "Mr. Cohen has expressed an interest in telling his personal story in open session" as well.

The hearing will be February 7 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a schedule published by Democratic Chairman Elijah Cummings, making the president's former "fixer" the first former Trump confidant connected to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation to cooperate with Democrats since taking control of the House.

"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 told ABC News.

President Donald Trump's longtime legal fixer, Michael Cohen, says he has accepted an invitation from a top House Democrat to testify publicly before Congress next month. He also pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, bank fraud and making false statements to Congress.

At his sentencing last month, Cohen said that he had felt a "blind loyalty" to Trump that compelled him to cover up the president's "dirty deeds", and that he was sorry to have done it. Cohen was part of Trump's inner circle and his testimony could shed more light on issues scrutinized by special counsel Robert Mueller.

When asked by a reporter about Cohen's upcoming testimony during his visit to the southern border on Thursday, Trump said he isn't concerned. He also thanked Cohen for agreeing to testify voluntarily.

US military removes some equipment from Syria; Russia sckeptical
Turkey considers America's Kurdish allies of the YPG militia - who were vital in the ground war against ISIS - a terrorist group. Both had declared that the U.S. would not leave unless ISIS was entirely defeated and Turkey agreed not to attack Syrian Kurds.

Mr Trump acted because he "was very concerned about how this would affect the election", Cohen said.

Cummings has sent document requests to the White House and the Trump Organization that seek to determine why Trump, who reimbursed Cohen for the hush-money payments, omitted that debt on his public financial disclosure form.

The committee, then under the leadership of South Carolina Rep.

But because he pleaded guilty he was never cross-examined on details of his dealings with Mr Trump.

The session will come just under a month before he is due to turn himself in for a three-year prison sentence. Cohen's appearance in public, before national television cameras, will begin to fulfill that promise, but is likely to only be the first of a string of public testimony that could prove damaging to the president.

Mr Cohen once professed to be so loyal to Mr Trump that he would take a bullet for his boss.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that his committee would also want to interview Cohen in a closed session to discuss the Russian Federation investigation. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement.

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