Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, said on Thursday he paid a firm to manipulate online polling data “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump. Jonah Green is on the story.
President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, will testify publicly before a House committee next month in a hearing that could serve as the opening salvo of a promised Democratic effort to scrutinize Trump, his conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia. The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced Thursday that Cohen will testify before that panel February 7, a little more than a month after the Democrats took the House majority. The hearing marks the latest step in Cohen's transformation from a trusted legal adviser to the president to a public antagonist who has cooperated extensively against him. It is likely to pull back the curtain on key episodes involving Trump's personal life and business dealings, including hush-money payments to women and a proposed Moscow real estate deal, that federal prosecutors have been dissecting for months. The chairman of the oversight panel, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said the committee is consulting with Mueller's office about the testimony. He said "there will be limitations" on the topics covered in Cohen's testimony. “We are going to make sure that we do absolutely nothing to interfere with the Mueller investigation,” Cummings said. “That is absolutely important to us.” The oversight hearing may not be Cohen's only appearance. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said he welcomes Cohen's testimony before the oversight panel, but "he is going to need to answer questions about the Russia investigation.” Schiff said that his office has been in negotiations with Cohen’s legal team for some time and “hope to wrap it up soon.”
US President Donald Trump ordered burgers, fries and pizzas to welcome his guests at the White House, blaming the partial government shutdown for the staff shortage. #White House #Donald Trump #hamburger
U.S. President Donald Trump's visited the Pentagon Thursday to roll out a new strategy for a more aggressive space-based missile defense system to protect against existing threats from North Korea and Iran and counter advanced weapon systems being developed by Russia and China. "Our goal is simple to ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime, anyplace," Trump said. The president was revealing details about the administration's Missile Defense Review — the first compiled since 2010. Trump also offered condolences to the families of Americans killed in Syria during a suicide attack Wednesday. Before delivering details of the new missile strategy, Trump used his speech to continue his push for a southern border wall. He slammed Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying, "the party has been hijacked by the open borders fringe within the party." The release of the strategy was postponed last year for unexplained reasons, though it came as Trump was trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
Before heading to prison in March, Michael Cohen will make a very high-profile pit stop: on Capitol Hill. President Trump's former attorney - who implicated Trump in a scheme to pay illegal hush money to two women - will testify publicly in front of the House Oversight Committee on February 7, the committee announced Thursday. Cohen in a statement said he looks forward to giving a, 'full and credible account of the events which have transpired.' The hearing may be Democrats' first salvo in what they've pledged will be a wide-ranging effort to investigate alleged misdeeds by Trump and those in his circle. Cohen, as Trump's former 'fixer,' told a court he acted at Trump's direction during the 2016 campaign when he bought the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claim to have had affairs with Trump years ago. He also previously admitted to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. Cohen at his sentencing hearing in December said that his 'blind loyalty' to the Trump led him to cover up the President's 'dirty deeds.' Trump denies the alleged affairs and claims the payoffs didn't violate campaign finance laws, and on Thursday shurgged off the news of Cohen's upcoming testimony.
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