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

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

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.

Cohen also admitted to lying to Congress concerning a Trump Moscow project in which he had contact with Russian officials through June 2016.

Michael Cohen wil testify to Congress on February 7.

"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 said in the statement.

They now hold the chairmanship of committees with the power to hold hearings, inviting or forcing witnesses to testify in public.

Cohen, who had been the real estate billionaire's right-hand-man and fixer at the Trump Organisation in NY, said at his 12 December sentencing that he spent years covering up for his boss's "dirty deeds".

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On November 30, Cohen struck a deal to plead guilty to one count of lying to Congress in exchange for cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller.

When asked by a reporter about Cohen's upcoming testimony during his visit to the southern border on Thursday, Trump said he isn't concerned. Federal prosecutors have said Trump directed those payments during the campaign.

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.

Known as Trump's "fixer", part of Cohen's job was to make the president's problems go away - by any means necessary.

In a press release, Cummings said, "I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily". Trump has denied directing Cohen to pay women who alleged affairs with Trump. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who was made chairman of the committee after Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, made the announcement Thursday.

In a December interview, Cummings, D-Md., said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he wanted Cohen to appear before Congress as soon as this month and signaled that he viewed it as a matter of extreme effect.

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Cummings has signalled that his committee is more interested in investigating the president's involvement in the campaign violations to which Cohen pleaded guilty previous year.

The newly installed chairmen of at least two other panels, the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, have said they want to speak with Cohen about his work on behalf of Trump.

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".

The House Intelligence Committee has been seeking a closed-door session with Cohen to discuss Russia-related matters.

"The request still stands, regardless of any public testimony Mr. Cohen may give on other issues", its chairman, Sen.

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