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Michael Cohen to testify before House Oversight Committee in public hearing


The hearing is scheduled on Feb. 7

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Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has agreed to testify in a public hearing before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7.

What's the background?

Cohen was a longtime lawyer for President Donald Trump, both before and after Trump ran for office.

In December, Cohen was sentenced to three years for violating campaign finance laws when he made a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in return for her silence. Cohen testified that Trump had instructed him to make the payment during the 2016 presidential campaign and that he had obeyed out of "blind loyalty."

He pleaded guilty in August in return for a plea deal.

Cohen also confessed in late November to lying to Congress about a real estate project in Russia he had been involved with on behalf of Trump.

The current chairman of the House Oversight Committee is Rep. Elijah Cumming (D-Md.).

"I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily," Cummings said in a statement. "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."

Cohen told CNN that he had agreed to testify before the committee "in furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers."

"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," he added.

What else?

After Cohen reached a plea deal, Trump criticized him for being "a weak person."

Cohen responded to that by saying that he had been weak, but not because he reached a plea deal.

"It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass," he said.

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