Senate Dem: Cohen has incentive to tell truth

Senate Dem: Cohen has incentive to tell truth
© Greg Nash

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip MORE (D-R.I.) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has an incentive to be truthful with lawmakers during testimony on Capitol Hill, pushing back against GOP criticisms that Cohen is untrustworthy.

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Whitehouse noted on Twitter that Cohen's cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors could be imperiled if he's found to have perjured himself during congressional testimony.

"Looking at prison, all #Cohen’s incentives are to be truthful," Whitehouse said.

The senator responded directly to a tweet from Trump, who earlier repeated his claim that Cohen is lying to secure a lighter prison sentence.

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellMatt Gaetz hints prosecutor won't press charges against threatening caller for political reasons Fundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives MORE (D-Calif.) noted in a tweet of his own that Cohen has agreed again to testify under oath, whereas Trump has not.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal House to test Trump's veto pen on Saudi arms sales MORE (D-Md.) told reporters on Tuesday that it's fair to have questions about Cohen's credibility."

"However, having said that, I have far less questions about his credibility, given the fact that the Mueller investigation is ongoing and that, obviously, if he lies to Congress, he'll face substantially more time in jail than he is apparently facing now," Hoyer said. "So, I think that makes it much more likely that he's going to be careful to tell the truth."

Republicans have attempted to portray Cohen as unreliable ahead of his testimony with the House Oversight and Reform Committee, noting that he has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timing of negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen will allege on Wednesday that Trump is a "conman," a "racist" and a "cheat," and that he had direct knowledge of a scheme to pay off adult-film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign. Daniels alleges she had an affair with Trump.

Cohen, who worked for years as Trump's personal attorney and "fixer," was sentenced late last year to serve three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations related to the hush money payment, bank fraud, tax fraud and lying to Congress.

The president sought to distance himself from Cohen in an early morning tweet that was sent while he is in Vietnam for negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Updated at 10:21 a.m.