Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony at House Intelligence Committee is delayed by nearly 3 weeks

  • The planned testimony of Michael Cohen, former personal attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, before the House Intelligence Committee was rescheduled Wednesday to Feb. 28 — just days before he is slated to report to a federal prison.
  • Cohen, whose crimes included ones linked to hush money payoffs to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, was originally scheduled to testify before the panel this Friday.
  • But Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Cohen's closed-door testimony would be delayed until Feb. 28 "in the interests of the investigation." Trump is due to begin a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Vietnam that same day.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen stands behind Trump.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen stands behind Trump.

The planned testimony of Michael Cohen, former personal attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, before the House Intelligence Committee was rescheduled Wednesday to Feb. 28 — just days before he is slated to begin a federal prison sentence.

Cohen was originally scheduled to testify before that committee this Friday in a closed-door session.

But Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., in a terse, one-sentence statement said that Cohen's appearance would be delayed until Feb. 28 "in the interests of the investigation."

Schiff did not elaborate.

Trump is slated to be in Vietnam on Feb. 28 for his second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Cohen is still considering testifying in public at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee before he begins serving a three-year prison sentence on March 6.

Cohen's legal advisor, Lanny Davis, declined to comment Wednesday.

He had originally been scheduled to testify before that committee on Thursday. But last month he postponed that appearance because of what Davis called "ongoing threats" by Trump and Trump's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, against Cohen's family.

Trump had urged his Twitter followers to "watch" Cohen's father-in-law, who was placed on probation in the mid-1990s after pleading guilty in a case in which he was charged with conspiring to defraud the IRS.

Giuliani, without offering any proof, had said Cohen's father-in-law may have ties to organized crime and was involved in criminal activity with Cohen.

Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty last year to multiple federal crimes, several of them directly related to Trump, and has cooperated with prosecutors investigating the president, including special counsel Robert Mueller.

The crimes included campaign finance violations related to Cohen facilitating hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly before the 2016 presidential election in exchange for their silence about alleged affairs with Trump. The president denies having sex with either woman.

Cohen also admitted to making false statements to Congress by lying about when an aborted effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow actually ended, and about the extent of Trump's involvement in that project.

Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, in a tweet Wednesday said Cohen's testimony before the Intelligence Committee should be in public.