Washington: US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has postponed his public testimony in front of the US Congress, citing “ongoing threats against his family” from Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” CNN quoted Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis as saying.
“Mr Cohen wishes to thank Chairman Cummings for allowing him to appear before the House Oversight Committee and looks forward to testifying at the appropriate time,” Davis further stated.
Democrats may issue a subpoena to Cohen, with one source telling CNN that Chairman Elijah Cummings may issue one to Trump’s former lawyer whose prison sentence starts on March 6. In fact, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has said that he is prepared to subpoena Cohen if he does not voluntarily testify before the Congress ahead of his prison term.
Meanwhile, Cummings assured of Cohen’s testimony on an unspecified date by saying, “I promise you we will hear from Mr Cohen. Now, we will make those determinations soon and we will let you know how we plan to proceed, but we will get the testimony as sure as night becomes day and day becomes night.”
The Chairman also added that Cohen could testify after going to prison as well.
Both Cummings and Schiff slammed Trump and Giuliani for “efforts to intimidate witnesses, scare their family members, or prevent them from testifying before Congress,” in a joint statement.
“We understand that Mr Cohen’s wife and other family members fear for their safety after these attacks, and we have repeatedly offered our assistance to work with law enforcement to enhance security measures for Mr Cohen and his family,” the duo said.
Cohen pleaded guilty to multiple charges in December last year, including campaign finance crimes related to payments made to silence women during the 2016 presidential campaign on Trump’s directives, according to the prosecutors.