Trump: Cohen postponed testimony because ‘he’s been threatened by the truth’

President Trump said Wednesday that Michael Cohen is “threatened by the truth” after his former attorney asked to postpone his congressional testimony citing threats against his family from the president.

“I would say he’s been threatened by the truth,” Trump told reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. “He’s only been threatened by the truth.”

“He doesn’t want to tell the truth for me or other of his clients,” the president added.

Lanny Davis, a legal adviser for Cohen, said in a statement earlier Wednesday that the longtime Trump Organization employee would delay his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which had been scheduled for Feb. 7.

{mosads}“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. [Rudy] 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,” Davis said.

“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,” he continued. “This is a time where Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”

Cohen’s scheduled testimony would have provided an opportunity for lawmakers on the committee to question him over a range of subjects. Two GOP lawmakers on Tuesday suggested that Cohen planned to refrain from answering questions about ongoing investigations involving the president.

Democrats could subpoena Cohen to testify, though Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) declined to comment to reporters on Wednesday about the possibility.

Cohen was sentenced late last year to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, tax fraud, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress about the timing of negotiations surrounding a Trump Tower development in Moscow.

Cohen said he committed the campaign finance violations at Trump’s direction and said he felt it was “my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

The president has derided Cohen as a “rat” and insisted that his former employee lied to prosecutors to secure a lighter prison sentence.

“In order to get his sentence reduced, he says, I have an idea, I’ll give you some information on the president,” Trump said earlier this month in an interview with Jeanine Pirro of Fox News. “Well, there is no information. But he should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one that people want to look at.”

In the face of a BuzzFeed News report that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, Trump tweeted last week that he was “lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!”

The special counsel’s office later issued a statement that the BuzzFeed report was inaccurate, though the outlet has stood by its reporting. 

Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has similarly attacked Cohen in the months since he pleaded guilty and began cooperating with prosecutors, blasting him as a “serial liar.” On Sunday, the former New York City mayor argued that Trump was justified in attacking Cohen’s father-in-law.

“It’s defending yourself,” Giuliani said on CNN, suggesting that Cohen’s father-in-law “may have ties to something called organized crime.”

Updated at 3:21 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Elijah Cummings
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