Michael Cohen, Trump’s Former Lawyer, Agrees to Testify to Congress

WASHINGTON — Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer who implicated him in a scheme to pay hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with him, said on Thursday of which he had agreed to testify before a House committee next month as well as also give “a full as well as also credible account” of his work for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen’s decision to appear before the House Oversight as well as also Reform Committee on Feb. 7 sets the stage for a blockbuster public hearing of which threatens to further damage the president’s image as well as also could clarify the depth of his legal woes. Mr. Cohen, a consigliere to Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer as well as also presidential candidate as well as informally when he was president, was privy to the machinations of Mr. Trump’s inner circle as well as also to key moments under scrutiny by both the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as well as also federal prosecutors in completely new York.

He could soon share many of them on national television under oath. nevertheless potential constraints emerged almost immediately on Thursday when the committee’s chairman warned of which Mr. Cohen most likely could be barred by Mr. Mueller by discussing matters related to Russia.

“In furtherance of my commitment to cooperate as well as also provide the American people with answers,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement, “I have accepted the invitation by Chairman Elijah Cummings to appear publicly on Feb. 7. I look forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full as well as also credible account of the events which have transpired.”

The subjects as well as also level of detail of which Mr. Cohen will be able to go into in public remain to be seen. Mr. Cummings said he was consulting Mr. Mueller’s office to ensure of which he did not hinder its efforts, as well as also of which the special counsel’s team had indicated some areas — including interactions with Russia — of which could most likely be off limits.

“I want to make clear of which we have no interest in inappropriately interfering with any ongoing criminal investigations,” Mr. Cummings said.

Lawmakers of both parties have sought to protect Mr. Mueller since he was appointed. of which will be likely to be a key theme of the Senate confirmation hearing next week for Mr. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William P. Barr, who could soon oversee the Mueller investigation. Democratic lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee sought assurances by Mr. Barr on Thursday of which he could not interfere with the investigation as the idea wraps up. nevertheless they left private meetings with him saying of which they could need a public pledge during his hearing.

Mr. Cummings said in a brief interview on Thursday of which he had known Mr. Cohen could testify for some time as well as also had spoken with him when arranging the hearing.

“He’ll have a chance to tell his side of the story, as well as also we’ll have a chance to question him,” he said. “The American people deserve of which.”

In a CNN interview in December, Mr. Cummings compared Mr. Cohen’s appearance to of which of John Dean, President Richard M. Nixon’s White House counsel, in 1973 before a special Senate committee investigating the Watergate scandal. Mr. Dean implicated himself, top administration officials as well as also the president in a cover-up of the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

“of which will be a watershed moment,” Mr. Cummings said, invoking Mr. Dean, who he said “changed the course of America” with his testimony.

the idea was unclear whether Mr. Cohen’s agreement to testify before the Oversight Committee could preclude appearances, in public or private, before some other House panels.

The newly installed chairmen of at least two some other panels have said they want to speak with Mr. Cohen about his work on behalf of Mr. Trump. Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California as well as also the Intelligence Committee chairman, said in an interview last week of which he was in touch with Mr. Cohen’s lawyer about a possible appearance.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Schiff said he was glad to see Mr. Cohen could appear in public, nevertheless could press ahead in trying to secure a private appearance before his own committee “inside the near future” to discuss matters related to Russia. Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina as well as also the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he too had an outstanding request for Mr. Cohen to come before his investigators.

Democrats won back the House last year promising to hold Mr. Trump as well as also his administration to account as well as also have begun laying the groundwork for a long run of investigations targeting his administration’s policies as well as also ethics lapses, Mr. Trump’s businesses as well as also his campaign’s interactions with Russia. Mr. Cohen’s appearance in public, before national television cameras, will begin to fulfill of which promise, nevertheless will be likely to be only the first in a string of public testimony of which could prove damaging to the president.

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, was not pleased with the announcement. Democrats, he said, had wasted no time in using the committee for “political theater rather than legitimate oversight.” He also pointed out of which Mr. Cohen had already “admitted to providing intentionally false as well as also misleading testimony to Congress” once before.