Former Trump lawyer Cohen agrees to testify to Congress about his work

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Michael Cohen, Mr Trump's former personal lawyer, didn't need to be subpoenaed; he has agreed to be questioned by the House oversight and reform committee, which serves as the main investigative body of the House of Representatives.

Cohen also confessed in late November to lying to Congress about a real estate project in Russian Federation he had been involved with on behalf of Trump.

In a statement, Cohen said he agreed to testify in "furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

Cohen said Thursday in a statement that he looks forward to having a platform to give a "full and credible account of the events which have transpired".

President Donald Trump's longtime legal fixer, Michael Cohen, says he has accepted an invitation from a top House Democrat to testify publicly before Congress next month.

Cohen pleaded guilty in November for lying to Congress during private testimony in 2017 about the timing and extent of discussions he had about a Russian real estate deal during Trump's campaign.

Prosecutors from the Southern District of NY, in addition to Cohen's own admissions, said both of the payments were made "at the direction of" then-candidate Trump leading up to the 2016 election to surpress possible damning information from becoming public. Asked by reporters in Texas on Thursday about Cohen's appearance, Trump said he's "not anxious about it at all".

Trump was directly implicated by Cohen's campaign finance guilty plea, as Cohen and prosecutors have told the court that the payments were made in coordination with the then-candidate. Trump has denied the trysts.

At a hearing last August in federal court in New York, Cohen testified that Trump had directed him to commit a crime by arranging payments before the 2016 election to two women who said they had engaged in extramarital affairs with Trump.

He admitted he had paid hush money to two women who could have embarrassed Mr Trump with details of their alleged affairs with him.

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On Thursday, Cummings said he was consulting Mueller's office to ensure that he did not hinder its efforts.

The Democrats promised to use their new majority in the House of Representatives to delve deeper than ever before into Donald Trump's pre-presidential background.

Elijah Cummings, the committee's chair, said the panel would avoid interfering with Mueller's investigation.

Speaking to journalists, Mr Trump shrugged the news off, after having last month condemned Cohen as a "rat" helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a "witch hunt".

It's not yet clear whether Cohen will agree to speak to any other committees.

The House Intelligence Committee has been seeking a closed-door session with Cohen to discuss Russia-related matters.

The oversight hearing may not be Cohen's only appearance.

"The request still stands", Burr added, regardless of any public testimony Mr. Cohen may give on other issues".

The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced Thursday that Cohen will appear before the panel February 7.

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