President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen will testify before the House Oversight Committee, the first major move by House Democrats to haul in a member of Trump’s team connected to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to a schedule published by the committee.
Cohen has agreed to testify publicly before the panel on February 7, according to a statement from Cohen.
Cohen said in a statement he had accepted an invitation to testify from Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
“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.
Cummings said the committee has no intention of interfering in ongoing criminal probes. He said, “To that end, we are in the process of consulting with Special Counsel Mueller’s office.”
Cohen is coming to Capitol Hill after he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in December to three years in prison on multiple charges, including two campaign finance crimes tied to illicit payments made to silence women during the presidential campaign — crimes that prosecutors say Trump directed Cohen to commit.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller for many months has been investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign and potential obstruction of justice.
Russia has denied U.S. 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.” The investigation has clouded Trump’s presidency.
Cohen once said he would take a bullet for Trump, who called his former close confidante a “Rat” on Twitter in mid-December.
At a hearing last August in federal court in New York, Cohen testified that Trump had directed him to commit a crime by arranging payments before the 2016 election to two women who said they had engaged in extramarital affairs with Trump.
Adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 and former Playboy model Karen McDougal was paid $150,000 by Cohen.