Michael Cohen to testify to Congress next month

Michael Cohen

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Michael Cohen, a former personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, is scheduled to testify before the House oversight committee next month regarding his work for the president.

Cummings said that Oversight Committee, which is also slated to take on increases in prescription drug prices later this month, would announce more information about the hearing in the coming weeks.

"Last November, the American people voted overwhelmingly for Congress to do two things - address the core issues that affect their daily lives, and fulfill our Constitutional responsibility to serve as an independent check and balance on the executive branch by restoring accountability and transparency", Mr Cummings said in a statement.

Cohen said in a statement he had accepted an invitation by the panel's Democratic chairman, U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, to appear publicly before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Cohen said he will "give a full and credible account of the events that have transpired".

Cohen's testimony will come one month before the start of a three-year prison term, which he received for lying to Congress, tax crimes, and campaign finance violations resulting, he says, from his duty to cover up Trump's "dirty deeds".

Cohen also confessed in late November to lying to Congress about a real estate project in Russian Federation he had been involved with on behalf of Trump.

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

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Cohen told Stephanopoulos that Trump directed him to arrange the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal because then-candidate Trump "was very concerned about how this would affect the election" if their allegations of affairs became public before voters cast their ballots.

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.

Cohen also pleaded guilty in August 2018 to several counts of fraud and campaign finance violations.

Cummings said the committee has no intention of interfering in ongoing criminal probes.

Democrats won back the House a year ago promising to hold Trump and his administration to account and have begun laying the groundwork for a long run of investigations targeting his administrator's policies and ethics lapses, Trump's businesses and his campaign's interactions with Russian Federation.

Prosecutors from the Southern District of NY, in addition to Cohen's own admissions, said both of the payments were made "at the direction of" then-candidate Trump leading up to the 2016 election to surpress possible damning information from becoming public.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and sought to minimize Cohen's statements by painting him as a liar. The investigation has clouded Trump's presidency.

Cohen responded to that by saying that he had been weak, but not because he reached a plea deal. He is set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which is investigating payments made during the 2016 campaign to silence women who claimed to have had sex with Trump. Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, also said he would be seeking a closed door hearing with Cohen.

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