Cohen, ex-Trump lawyer, to testify publicly before Congress

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

Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to testify in public before Congress

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan launched an investigation into Cohen past year, and raided his offices after a tip from Mueller's office, which has been investigating the Trump campaign, focusing on potential collusion with Russian nationals during the 2016 presidential election.

His testimony before the House oversight and reform committee on 7 February will be the first major public oversight hearing for Democrats, who have promised greater scrutiny of Trump after winning control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.

Cohen said Thursday in a statement that he looks forward to having a platform to give a "full and credible account of the events which have transpired".

Cummings had pushed previous year for the committee to summon Cohen to testify about his interactions with the president.

Regardless of what Cohen says, though, his testimony will surely result in a presidential temper tantrum from his one-time mentor, who has called Cohen a "weak person," and recommended that people not hire him as their lawyer. Asked by reporters in Texas on Thursday about Cohen's appearance, Trump said he's "not anxious about it at all". Based on the description in the court documents, Individual 1 appears to be President Trump.

The president has assailed the various investigations, while Russian Federation has denied trying to interfere in the 2016 election for the purposes of sowing discord and improving Trump's prospects. 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 NY.

A judge also ordered Cohen to forfeit $692,000 and pay restitution of almost $1.9 million.

He pleaded guilty in August to charges that included violating campaign finance laws and claimed he made the payments to the two women at Trump's behest.

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

The committee, then under the leadership of South Carolina Rep.

It's not yet clear whether Cohen will agree to speak to any other committees.

The public release of a redacted transcript of his previous closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in its own Russian Federation investigation is expected to be released soon, along with the testimony of dozens of other witnesses in that probe.

"Mr Cohen has expressed an interest in telling his personal story in open session, and we welcome his testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Reform", he said.

The payments made or orchestrated to women during the campaign - to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - to stay silent about alleged sexual encounters with Trump are also sure to be a hot topic at the congressional hearing.

The oversight hearing may not be Cohen's only appearance.

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