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

Michael Cohen President Donald Trump's former lawyer leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York Wednesday Dec. 12 2018

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

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. The Maryland representative sent letters sent a pair of letters to both the White House and the Trump Organization earlier this week following an earlier request for documents pertaining to the president's alleged failure to report debts and payments to his personal attorney "to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with the president before the election".

Cohen said in a 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".

Cummings said that Oversight Committee, which is also slated to take on increases in prescription drug prices later this month, would announce more information about the hearing in the coming weeks.

Cummings said the committee has no intention of interfering in ongoing criminal probes.

Democratic lawmakers have wanted to call Cohen back to Capitol Hill since the special counsel determined Cohen lied during his previous testimony - lies that formed at least part of the foundation of a controversial investigative report that House Intelligecne Committee Republicans released past year, determining that there was no evidence of links between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Trump told reporters in McAllen, Texas, on Thursday that he was "not worried" about Cohen's testimony "at all".

He also denied that Trump had committed impeachment offenses of high crimes or misdemeanors.

Suspicious packages sent to consulates in Melbourne
Some unverified reports claimed that the diplomatic missions have received packages bearing the word "asbestos" and "wear a mask". Sky reported that the scare coincided with the USA embassy's hazmat training, which had been booked for months.

At his sentencing last month, Cohen said that he had felt a "blind loyalty" to Trump that compelled him to cover up the president's "dirty deeds", and that he was sorry to have done it.

On the issue of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Giuliani says, "Cohen doesn't know a damn thing about collusion". Cohen has already pleaded guilty to previously making false statements to Congress, in 2017 to a Senate intelligence committee about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen had been a key figure in Trump's inner orbit for years - and played the role of attack dog in the press during the 2016 campaign - but has severed his relationship with his former boss and is cooperating in several investigations involving Trump.

The special counsel's questioning of Cohen, one of the president's closest associates over the past decade, has since focused primarily on all aspects of Trump's dealings with Russian Federation - business and otherwise - sources familiar with the matter told ABC News, as well as whether Trump or any of his associates discussed with Cohen the possibility of a pardon.

Cohen has a track record of erratic and unethical behavior, caught on tape at one point threatening a Daily Beast reporter with complete financial and social ruin if he published a story with the words "Trump" and "rape" regarding an accusation made by Trump's first wife. Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, also said he would be seeking a closed door hearing with Cohen.

At the time of Cohen's sentencing, federal authorities announced a deal not to prosecute American Media Inc.

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