President Donald Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen has been swimming through some legal waters of his own, thanks to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election. It's been quite the journey for Cohen, but the chapter is almost closed as he prepares to step before Congress on Feb. 27. But the question still remains: What will Michael Cohen testify to Congress about come Wednesday? One thing's for sure — he knows a lot about Trump.
Originally, Cohen was set to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7, per The New York Times, but his attorney Lanny Davis requested a postponement over alleged "ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani," Davis told Elite Daily in a statement at the time. The White House and representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment. When Cohen would ultimately give his testimony was still up in the air until Wednesday, Feb. 20, when Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) announced that Cohen will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27, according to Politico. But when he takes the stand, is his former boss and current POTUS on the chopping block? According to ABC News, quite possibly.
In a Feb. 19 appearance on ABC News' newest podcast The Investigation, centered around Mueller's Russia probe, Davis said Cohen intends to share some “personal, front-line experiences of memories, and incidents, and conduct, and comments that Donald Trump said over that 10-year time period behind closed doors.” The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the subject. In a set of Feb. 20 tweets, Davis stated that Cohen intends to "publicly tell the truth about [Trump]" on Feb. 27.
Davis and the rest of Cohen's legal team aren't the only ones setting the stage for his testimony. With Wednesday's announcement, Cummings also sent out a brief outlining the scope of the hearing, which will focus on things like Trump's finances, business practices, and compliance with campaign finance laws. For example, payouts to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal — two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump and were paid by Cohen ahead of the election — will be discussed. While Cohen admitted to making the payments and claimed they were at the direction of Trump, Trump has denied all claims of affairs with either woman, and also denied knowing about the payments in advance. Elite Daily reached out the White House for comment on Cohen's claims at the time but did not hear back.
But there are some aspects that will be off the table during the public hearing on Feb. 27. Per Cummings' brief, the hearing will not include questions about "efforts of Russia and other foreign entities to influence the U.S. political process during and since the 2016 U.S. election."
However, on Feb. 28, there will reportedly be a closed-door meeting that will dive into "Mr. Cohen’s prior false statements to the Intelligence Committee." In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to "making false statements to Congress" over a possible Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the 2016 election. The tower never got built, but has been a hot button issue in Mueller's investigation into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 election because it could illustrate that Trump had financial ties to the country during his presidential run, according to The New York Times. The White House did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment at the time. Cohen initially said that there hadn't been any contact with the Russian government over the Moscow deal, but in his later plea he admitted to speaking with the office of the press secretary for Russia's president.
The announcement of Cohen's new hearing date comes at the same time that his date to appear in prison was postponed. Cohen was originally set to report to prison on March 6 to serve out his three-year sentence. But U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley agreed Wednesday to postpone the date to May 6 following a request from his attorneys that asked the date be pushed so their client could have more time to recover from a recent surgery and prepare for his upcoming testimonies — aside from the House Oversight Committee, Cohen must also appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligent Committee. Representatives for Cohen told Elite Daily in a statement,
We thank the court for granting the postponement of Mr. Cohen’s surrender date to May 6. As we have previously stated, Mr. Cohen underwent serious shoulder surgery and this extra time allows Mr. Cohen to continue his physical therapy. In addition, he will be able to prepare for the expected testimony next week before Congressional Committees, which he welcomes.
Clearly, Cohen has a lot to do before he reports to prison, and something tells me that this political thriller is only heating up.