News by VICE

Michael Cohen will testify to Congress next month before heading to prison

“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.”

by Greg Walters
Jan 10 2019, 8:36pm

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, will testify publicly before Congress in February.

“In furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers, I have accepted the invitation by Chairman Elijah Cummings to appear publicly on February 7th before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,” Cohen said in a statement sent to VICE News on Thursday.

“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.

Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and lying to Congress last year, and was sentenced to three years in prison in December. He’ll begin serving his sentence in March.

Cohen has previously said he plans to share everything he knows about his years of service for Trump, stretching all the way back to the beginning of their relationship to the present day.

“There are things that he was involved in that he doesn't think are so great. That he’s not proud of. ...That he’s willing to talk about,” Cohen’s spokesperson and former attorney Lanny Davis told VICE News last summer. “But I think most important is, the eligibility of a man who seems unfit for the presidency.”

Rep. Cummings hailed Cohen’s promise to appear before his committee, and promised the event wouldn’t interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump’s ties to Russia.

“I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily,” Rep. Cummings said in a statement sent to VICE News. “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 Mueller’s office. The Committee will announce additional information in the coming weeks.”

Trump’s former self-described “fixer,” had sought a reduced sentence, and cited his cooperation with the Mueller investigation. Yet federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York had a less charitable take, and accused Cohen of overstating his willingness to assist in investigations.

“Cohen first reached out to meet with the [special counsel’s office] at a time when he knew he was under imminent threat of indictment in this district. As such, any suggestion by Cohen that his meetings with law enforcement reflect a selfless and unprompted about-face are overstated,” prosecutors wrote ahead of the sentencing.

Standing before a judge on a cold December day, Cohen appeared visibly emotional, but sought to strike a conciliatory tone.

"I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen I deeply admired," Cohen said.

“Today is one of the most meaningful days of my life,” Cohen continued. ”The irony is that today I get my freedom back.”

Cover: Michael Cohen, left, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)