Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify to House Oversight Committee

“I want to make clear that we have no interest in inappropriately interfering with any ongoing criminal investigations, and to that end, we are in the process of consulting with Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller’s office,” Cummings said. “The Committee will announce additional information in the coming weeks.”

Cummings noted that earlier this week, he sent sent letters to the White House and the Trump Organization renewing his of four months ago for documents related to “Trump’s apparent failure to report debts and payments to Mr. Cohen to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with the President before the election.”

“Those documents are now due on January 22, 2019,” Cummings said.

Cummings last month said he wanted Cohen to testify, predicting that if Cohen did so it would be a “watershed moment” akin to the 1973 testimony by White House counsel John Dean at Watergate hearings that ended up leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Cohen since last August — even before pleading guilty to criminal charges — has met with investigators from Mueller’s office.

The former FBI Director Mueller is investigating possible collusion by Trump’s campaign with Russians who interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and possible obstruction of justice by the president. Trump denies any wrongdoing by himself or his campaign.

Mueller has said that Cohen gave the special counsel’s team “information about attempted by other Russian nationals to reach” Trump’s presidential campaign as far back as November 2015.

Cohen also has met with other authorities investigating the president, the Trump Organization and the Trump Foundation charity.

When he was sentenced last month, an emotional Cohen said his “own weakness and a blind loyalty to” Trump had “led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

“Time and again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” Cohen said in federal court in Manhattan, where he was ordered to begin serving his 36-month prison stint on March 6.

He remains free on bail until then.

Cohen, 52, last August pleaded guilty to eight charges lodged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which included tax crimes, lying to banks and violating campaign finance laws.

The campaign crimes related to hush-money payments Cohen facilitated for two women — porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal — shortly before the 2016 presidential election to keep them from publicizing their claims of having had affairs with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied he had sex with either woman.

Cohen said that Trump directed him to have the payments made to Daniels, who was paid by Cohen, and to McDougal, who was paid by Trump-friendly publisher of The National Enquirer.

The financial crimes related to Cohen’s taxi cab medallions business, consulting work and residential mortgages.

In November, Cohen additionally pleaded guilty to a charge brought by Mueller of lying to Congress in written statements about an unsuccessful effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen had falsely claimed that the Moscow project died in early 2016, when in fact the effort was continuing until at least June 2016 — when Trump was on the cusp of locking up the Republican nomination for president.

Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has said the effort may have actually continued until November 2016 — the month of the presidential election.

Trump in late November claimed that Cohen was “lying” about him in an effort to “get a reduced sentence.”

“He’s a weak person and not a very smart person,” Trump said his former attorney.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Headed for border, Trump warns of possible emergency declarationTrump visits border amid US shutdown wall row