WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, is scheduled to testify before Congress next week, setting up a blockbuster appearance that could delve into allegations of the president’s infidelities and business practices.
Cohen, who is scheduled to start his three-year prison sentence in May, will appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb. 27 at 10 a.m.
Cohen’s appearance will mark one of the first major players in Trump’s orbit that the new Democratic majority in the House have called to testify, a forecast of what’s to come over the next two years.
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for a series of federal crimes, including campaign finance violations and tax evasion.
“The schedule has now been set. Looking forward to the #American people hearing my story in my voice!” Cohen posted on Twitter.
He was originally planned to testify before the committee earlier this month due pulled out, citing “threats” from the president.
More: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, gets 2-month delay to start prison term
More: Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani
More: Top Democrats warn Trump against obstruction ahead of Michael Cohen’s public testimony
The threat allegation arose after Trump appeared on Fox News in January and seemed to allege that Cohen’s father-in-law had committed crimes and urged others to look into the matter.
Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, who chairs the committee, announced the new date for Cohen’s appearance and also outlined the parameters of what the hearing would cover.
“I am pleased to announce that Michael Cohen’s public testimony before the Oversight Committee is back on, despite efforts by some to intimidate his family members and prevent him from appearing,” said Cummings. “Congress has an obligation under the Constitution to conduct independent and robust oversight of the Executive Branch, and this hearing is one step in that process.”
Cummings also included a memo that outlined the scope of what lawmakers would ask Cohen.He explained the hearing would focus on Cohen’s role in payments made before the 2016 election to women who alleged affairs with Trump, financial disclosures, campaign finance, taxes, Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and the president’s businesses.
While Cohen’s testimony was highly anticipated because of his cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into election interference, Cummings said lawmakers would not focus on this issue.
Cummings said on Feb. 28, one day after the public hearing, Cohen will appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session.
Also on Wednesday, Cohen’s prison sentence was delayed for two months. He was scheduled to report to prison March 6 but U.S. District Judge William Pauley agreed to delay that until May 6.
Cohen recently had “a serious surgical procedure” and needs more time for recovery, according to a two-page letter from his lawyer, Michael Monico.
Cohen underwent serious shoulder surgery and needs more time for physical therapy, according to a statement from his lawyers.
Contributing: Kevin Johnson and Bart Jansen