Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to testify publicly before House panel

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Michael Cohen, formerly the longtime attorney to President Trump, will publicly testify on Capitol Hill before he begins his three-year prison stint next month.

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.

Russian Federation has denied USA intelligence agencies' findings that it meddled in the 2016 campaign, while Trump has denied any collusion with Moscow and called Mueller's probe a "witch hunt".

Trump Fixer Cohen Will Testify before Going to PrisonDonald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, will testify before Congress in February.

Cohen is set to testify next month before the House Oversight and Reform Committee chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat.

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

Cohen's decision to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on February 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. He also pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, bank fraud and making false statements to Congress. Cohen was part of Trump's inner circle and his testimony could shed more light on issues scrutinized by special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump has denied that he directed Cohen to make the payments. Cohen testified that Trump had instructed him to make the payment during the 2016 presidential campaign and that he had obeyed out of "blind loyalty".

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On the subject of the payments, Trump insisted he only found out about them after they were made, despite the release of a 2016 recorded conversation in which Trump and Cohen can be heard discussing a deal to pay McDougal for her story of a 2006 affair.

On Thursday, Cummings said he was consulting Mueller's office to ensure that he did not hinder its efforts.

Cohen cooperated with Mueller's investigation after his August guilty plea, and his congressional testimony could thrust some of those still-private details he provided into the public sphere.

The panel's top Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan of OH, said Cohen's appearance shows that Cummings is using the "committee as a venue for political theatre rather than legitimate oversight", noting how Cohen has admitted knowingly lying to Congress and is a witness in ongoing investigations.

Soon after his appearance in front of House Oversight was announced, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released a statement welcoming the testimony but also stressing the need for Cohen "to answer questions pertaining to the Russian Federation investigation".

Mr Cohen once professed to be so loyal to Mr Trump that he would take a bullet for his boss. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement.

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