Michael Cohen Agrees to Spill the Beans in Public Congressional Testimony

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

Michael Cohen agrees to testify before Congress after pleading guilty to fraud and deception

Others in Trump's personal orbit are also facing scrutiny, and House Democrats, having retaken the majority earlier this month, now have subpoena power.

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and "fixer" - who also pleaded guilty to financial crimes, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress - is set to testify before the House Committee of Oversight and Reform on February 7.

That means that he wants to talk.

Trump lashed out at Cohen after his sentencing last month, tweeting that his former close confidant only agreed to plead guilty "in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did".

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.

He has also contended that the deals were private and unrelated to the campaign, insisting that if anything illegal occurred, it was Cohen's responsibility.

He did make a brief statement in court in which he said he "was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands".

Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was thankful Cohen came forward on his own accord.

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Since then, police had received "more than 100 tips", Broeske said, adding "several seems to be interesting" without elaborating. Since the end of October past year , Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, wife of Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen , has been missing.

In the interview with Stephanopoulos, however, Cohen rejected Trump's claims as "absolutely not true".

Now he is clearly intent on taking aim at the president - and he could inflict some serious damage, even though Mr Trump's current lawyer, former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, has dismissed him as "a thoroughly discredited liar".

A hearing could delve into the financial deals of the Trump Organisation as well as the Trump 2016 election campaign's dealings with Russian Federation, already being probed by the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Cohen has agreed to testify publicly before the panel on February 7, according to a statement from Cohen.

The lawyer has cooperated with Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election since past year, which has prompted anger from the president.

"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.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated" with the Trump campaign. Trump has denied the trysts.

"We don't want to do anything to interfere with the Mueller investigation - absolutely nothing", Cummings said. The investigation has clouded Trump's presidency. Those payments were at the center of Cohen's plea to federal campaign finance charges a year ago. 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.

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