Michael Cohen Delays Testimony, Citing 'Ongoing Threats' From Trump, Giuliani


Michael Cohen is postponing his congressional testimony, citing threats from President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, and CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger said today the two of them have basically succeeded.

Mr Trump, who has called Cohen a liar and "rat", said in a tweet last Friday that Cohen is "Lying to reduce his jail time!".

Democrats have suggested they may subpoena Cohen to compel his testimony and the committee's chairman, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said Cohen could be brought from prison to appear before Congress.

Cohen was expected to appear before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee.

Giuliani's answers contradicted months of statements from Trump and his team that discussions about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow ended before the Iowa primaries in January 2016.

"We will get his testimony", Cummings said.

President Donald Trump's lawyer-spokesman Rudy Giuliani and a disputed Buzzfeed News report have muddied the waters on exactly how long negotiations over the project went on. He blamed threats from Trump and the president's attorney-spokesman, Rudy Giuliani, and cited his own ongoing cooperation in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Earlier on Wednesday, Schiff said he was prepared to subpoena Cohen if he would not testify voluntarily.

He explained to a reporter for The New Yorker that Mueller has not claimed that the Cohen allegation that President Trump counseled Cohen to lie was inaccurate; rather, the inaccurate statement in the BuzzFeed piece was its reference to the existence of texts and emails corroborating what BuzzFeed claims Trump told Cohen.

There has been no public indication during the investigation of Cohen that his father-in-law is, or was, the subject of any criminal inquiry.

But Cohen has said he wants to use the opportunity of testifying before Congress to "give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired" working with Trump.

He would also not be able to talk about claims he made that Trump was involved in talks about building a Trump Tower in Moscow until June 2016.

But the Democratic chairman said they still expected Cohen to testify. He said in the guilty plea that he was directed to make the payments by Trump.

Giuliani, the president's current lawyer, has highlighted problems with Cohen's credibility.

"We have received Mr. Cohen's notice postponing his voluntary appearance in an open hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Reform".

Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat on the committee, said he hadn't spoken to Cummings yet but supported a subpoena so the public would hear his story.

That appearance had been set for a month before Cohen is due to surrended to begin a three-year prison sentence for mulitple crimes, some of which relate to Trump.