Michael Cohen, former Trump lawyer, agrees to give open testimony in Congress

Michael Cohen President Trump's former lawyer departs United States Federal Court under heavy security after being sentenced to three years in prison in New York New York on Dec. 12 2018

Michael Cohen agrees to testify before Congress after pleading guilty to fraud and deception

Michael Cohen, US President Donald Trump's former lawyer, is due to testify against his former boss on February 7 in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee before beginning a three-year prison term for multiple charges.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff said in a statement on Thursday that he welcomed Cohen's upcoming public testimony, but he added that Cohen would need to speak to lawmakers in a private setting as well.

Cohen acknowledged the testimony in a separate statement: "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".

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

A judge also ordered Cohen to forfeit $692,000 and pay restitution of almost $1.9 million.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in jail on 12 December after pleading guilty to tax evasion, making false statements and illegal campaign contributions. In court filings, prosecutors have not named Trump, referring to a "candidate for federal office" and "Individual-1".

Cummings has signalled that his committee is more interested in investigating the president's involvement in the campaign violations to which Cohen pleaded guilty previous year.

But because he pleaded guilty he was never cross-examined on details of his dealings with Mr Trump.

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The announcement of Cohen's testimony is the latest sign that House Democrats plan to make oversight of every aspect of Trump's life a key part of their control of the House.

Trump Fixer Cohen Will Testify before Going to PrisonDonald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, will testify before Congress in February.

Cohen is expected to face tough questions about hush-money payments he arranged on Trump's behalf to keep extramarital affair allegations out of the news during the 2016 presidential election. Cohen lied to federal prosecutors about the timing of his discussions with Russian officials.

In a statement, Cohen said he agreed to testify in "furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

Cohen testified before the House intelligence panel in 2017, before his role in the federal investigations was fully known and when Republicans controlled the panel.

Cohen, who had been the real estate billionaire's right-hand-man and fixer at the Trump Organisation in NY, said at his 12 December sentencing that he spent years covering up for his boss's "dirty deeds".

In a statement Thursday, Schiff said he was glad to see Cohen would appear in public, but would press ahead in trying to secure another, private appearance before his own committee "in the near future" to discuss matters related to Russian Federation.

Others in Trump's personal orbit are also facing scrutiny, and House Democrats, having retaken the majority earlier this month, now have subpoena power.

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