Former Trump lawyer Cohen to testify publicly before U.S. Congress


WASHINGTON, JAN 11– Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, will testify before the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee next month, the panel’s chairman announced Thursday.

“I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily,” said the committee’s chairman, Elijah Cummings, in a statement on Thursday.
Cohen was sentenced last month to three years in jail after pleading guilty to a series of crimes, including hush money payments prior to the 2016 presidential election to silence two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Cohen said he is “looking 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 is also a person of interest in the ongoing Russia inquiry led by special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation focuses on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Cohen is known to have cooperated with Mueller for a period of time. Trump has slammed Cohen as “a weak person and not a smart person” and has repeatedly called the Mueller probe a political “witch hunt.”
Cummings said Thursday that the committee has “no interest in inappropriately interfering with any ongoing criminal investigations.”

“To that end, we are in the process of consulting with Special Counsel Mueller’s office,” the chairman added.
Speaking on Cohen’s testimony later in the day, Trump said he’s “not worried at all.”
Cohen, 52, served as a vice-president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump and previously served as co-president of Trump Entertainment. – XINHUA