TAKING A STAND AT THE BORDER
In Texas, President Donald Trump invited locals to help him make the case for a wall.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer who implicated him in a scheme to pay hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with him, has agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee next month and give “a full and credible account” of his work for Trump.
Cohen’s decision to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb. 7 sets the stage for a blockbuster public hearing that threatens to further damage the president’s image and could clarify the depth of his legal woes. Cohen, a consigliere to Trump when he was a real estate developer and presidential candidate as well as informally as president, was privy to the machinations of Trump’s inner circle and key moments under scrutiny by both special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York.
He could soon share them on national television under oath.
“In furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers, I have accepted the invitation by Chairman Elijah Cummings 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.”
Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan in August to tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and a campaign finance violation. In court, Cohen said that violation was the result of payments he made at the behest of his former client to a woman who was prepared to go public during the 2016 campaign about an affair with Trump years earlier.
Since then, Cohen has spent more than 70 hours with federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as with Mueller, who is investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and Trump’s campaign. In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to an additional charge – lying to Congress about how long negotiations for a Trump Tower project in Moscow went on in 2016.
It was unclear if Cohen’s agreement to testify before the Oversight Committee will preclude appearances, in public or private, before other House panels.