Michael Cohen faces the Capitol Hill glove from Tuesday


Cohen is expected to publicly discuss for the first time Trump's role in some of the crimes that Cohen pleaded guilty to last year, a source told CNN about the preparations for his testimony.

He should give details behind the scenes raising questions about Trump's conduct in the cases and when he was running for president, the source said.

The hearings will give Cohen the opportunity to tell his story and his interactions with his former boss before Cohen finds himself in jail on May 6 for a three-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to tax crimes, campaign funding violations and lied to Congress his previous testimony.

But Cohen will also face bitter questions from Republican critics likely to try to dig holes in his narrative and attack his credibility as a Trump critic, since he has already been found guilty of lying to Congress during his testimony in 2017.

The main event for Cohen this week is his public testimony Wednesday before the House's oversight committee, where he agreed to discuss "President's debts and payments related to the efforts to influence the 2016 election." ", a reference to the hidden sums made by Cohen to two women at home in the 2016 campaign.

Cohen will also talk about the president's finances, conflicts of interest at the Trump Foundation and Trump International Hotel, according to a note released last week by House Oversight president Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland.

Wednesday's hearing paves the way for a split screen in Washington: Cohen will testify publicly on the same day that Trump will be in Vietnam for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, although both events are taking place On the other side of the world. with a 12-hour time difference between Washington and Hanoi.

According to Cummings' memo, Cohen's testimony in Oversight is not intended to cover topics related to the investigation in Russia. But he will be sensitized to these topics – such as the Trump Tower project in Moscow and the June 2016 meeting – when he is in camera on Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee and Thursday before the Intelligence Committee of the Senate. Bedroom.

From Trump loyalist to "rat"

Cohen's return to Capitol Hill comes about 18 months after his first appearance before the intelligence panels as part of the investigation into Russia, where he lied about the length of talks on the Moscow Trump Tower project that should extend to the 2016 campaign.

At that time, Cohen was a loyal supporter of Trump. But after pleading guilty, Cohen began cooperating with the investigation of special advocate Robert Mueller, which provoked repeated attacks from the president, who called Cohen "rat".

Michael Cohen arrived at Capitol Hill before his testimony next week
Cohen presented the contents of his testimony at the hearing of his sentence in December, when he stated about Trump that he felt it was "my duty to conceal his dirty deeds ".

"I take full responsibility for every act for which I pleaded guilty: personal acts to me and those involving the President of the United States of America", did he declares.

At Wednesday's public hearing, Democrats will likely reveal details to Cohen on a number of key topics involving Trump, including the prosecutors' allegation that Trump allegedly ordered Cohen to pay sums of money. Secret money to two women alleging facts. Trump denied the business and ordered Cohen to make the payments.

Cummings told reporters on Monday that he did not know what Cohen was going to say to the committee, but he suggested that this could be a historically important event.

"It's a moment in history. And when you reach my age, you look back and you realize that these moments are really very important. It could very well be a turning point in the history of our country, I would not do it. Do not know, "said Cummings.

"This is the only person I know who has accused this president of crime," Cummings said of Cohen. "And so I think it is only fair to the President, Michael Cohen and the public that it manifests itself so that they have the opportunity to observe its behavior, Republicans can ask him questions, like in a cross exam, then they can make their own judgments. "

In his letter last week, Cummings said he had consulted with the Justice Department and House Intelligence Speaker Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, to determine the scope of the committee's hearing, during which Cohen voluntarily appears.

Republicans are also preparing to grill Cohen

But the Republicans of the monitoring panel, including some of the most fervent defenders of the Trump Congress, will not remain inactive while Cohen criticizes the president.

The Republican Representative of Ohio, Jim Jordan, has shied away from Cummings for having held the hearing in the first place, and he reported that the GOP committee members did not have the Intention to comply with the hearing referred to by Cummings.

"President Cummings' first big audience will feature Michael Cohen as Phase 1 of the coordinated Democrats campaign to dismiss the president," Jordan said. "Our members intend to question Mr. Cohen on the crimes for which he pleaded guilty, the other criminal activities in which he participated but refused to disclose, his international financial transactions and a long list of Other probative activities. "

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Cohen's closed-door appearances before Senate and House intelligence committees are unlikely to provide as many fireworks as his control audience, but will give Congress more latitude to dive in matters relating to Russia during confidential hearings.

Schiff told ABC News "This Week Sunday" that Cohen could testify about "a lot, starting with why the misrepresentations made before our committee at his first appearance".

"Did they go beyond what he told us about the Trump Tower in Moscow in other areas as well?" Schiff said. "Who would have been aware of the false testimony that he was giving? What other light can he enlighten now that he is cooperating on issues of obstruction of justice or collusion? What could he tell us? say more about the Trump Tower meeting in New York or any other relevant issues for our investigation.We think it has a lot to offer. "

Tuesday's Senate interview, during which Cohen will testify under a subpoena, is a break from most of the expert panel's interviews on the investigation in Russia. Senators will be in the room to question the official, according to a source familiar with the matter. To date, most of the 200 interviews the committee conducted during its two-year survey in Russia were led by committee staff.

The committee members responded in unison Monday in unison when they asked what they wanted to hear from Cohen: "The truth," CNN told five panel members, including the President Richard Burr of North Carolina and the main Democrat of the panel, Mark Warner of Virginia.

"Hypothetically, I hope we hear the truth and ask the same questions the last time to see what the answers are this time," said Senator Susan Collins, Maine Republican.

Warner said he hoped Cohen would be the first of several key witnesses who will be recalled to the committee for a second interview.

"Obviously, it is only one of the key figures of the survey and it is extremely important that we find them all, but tomorrow is a good first step," he said. Warner.

Three adjournments

Cohen's appearance before all three committees is an episode in itself, since he postponed the three appearances earlier this month – for three different reasons.

Cohen canceled his original date to testify publicly citing the threats made by Trump and the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, against his family. (Trump replied that Cohen was threatened only by the truth.) Cohen then postponed his appearance before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which Schiff vaguely attributed to the "interests of the investigation. ".

And finally, Cohen cited "post-operative medical needs" when the Senate intelligence group delayed his appearance earlier this month.

Burr asked Cohen to provide a note to the doctor. But Burr was not amused when Cohen appeared later in social media this weekend enjoying a long dinner at a Manhattan restaurant.

"I can assure you that any goodwill that might have existed in the committee with Michael Cohen is now gone," said Burr.

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