Cohen talking to Senate panel Tuesday, kicking off busy week

Full credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images via CNN

By MICHAEL R. SISAK and MARY CLARE JALONICK, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate intelligence committee will interview President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer behind closed doors on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Michael Cohen’s Senate interview will kick off a week of congressional appearances for Cohen, who is already scheduled to testify publicly before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday and then behind closed doors again on Thursday to the House intelligence committee.

Cohen was spotted Thursday on Capitol Hill. His legal team would not comment on why he was there, although it is not unusual for witnesses to meet with congressional staff in preparation for upcoming testimony.

The person who confirmed the Senate Intelligence interview declined to be named because the Senate committee appearance is confidential. The panel subpoenaed him earlier this year.

Cohen was scheduled to speak to the three committees earlier this month, but rescheduled all of those appearances for different reasons. He said he needed to recover from surgery and also was concerned about threats to his family from Trump and the president’s attorney spokesman, Rudy Giuliani.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff postponed his appearance before that committee saying it was “in the interests of the investigation,” with no additional detail. Cohen has cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison after pleading guilty to lying to both intelligence committees in 2017 and to campaign finance violations. His sentence will begin in May.

Cohen told lawmakers in 2017 that he had abandoned a Trump business proposal in Moscow in January 2016, but he later acknowledged he continued pursuing it for months after that.

He also pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for his involvement in payments to a former Playboy model and porn actress who had alleged affairs with Trump. Trump denies the allegations.

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Sisak reported from New York.

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