Cohen postpones testimony before Senate Intelligence panel

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen is postponing his closed-door testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing medical reasons after a recent surgery, his attorney Lanny Davis said Monday. 

Cohen, 52, had been subpoenaed by the committee to testify on Feb. 12 as part of the panel’s ongoing Russian interference investigation. Davis said at the time that he planned to comply but that the parties would need to discuss the details, including his appearance date, given that Cohen had recently undergone major surgery on his shoulder.

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“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has accepted Mr. Cohen’s request for postponement of tomorrow’s hearing due to post surgery medical needs,” Davis, an opinion contributor to The Hill, said in a brief statement Monday. “A future date will be announced by the Committee.”

The delay further calls into question Cohen's return appearance on Capitol Hill, around which anticipation has built for weeks following his sentencing for several federal crimes he pleaded guilty to committing while working for Trump. 

A spokesman for the Senate committee — which generally does not comment on witness testimony — declined to comment.

Cohen was supposed to voluntarily testify in public before the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week, but he abruptly postponed that appearance in late January, citing threats from the president and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. 

The decision came after Trump suggested in a Fox News interview that he was aware of damaging information about Cohen’s father-in-law. Cohen’s representatives are in talks with the committee to reschedule the appearance, but no details have been announced. 

Cohen already testified before Senate Intelligence Committee staff in October 2017. However, it has since been revealed that he lied to the committee about the timing and details of discussions within the Trump Organization during the presidential campaign to build a property in Moscow, which Cohen has said he did in order to minimize links between Trump and the project.

Cohen has attracted the attention of multiple congressional committees as a result of his ties to the president. Separately, he is expected to voluntarily testify before the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors on Feb. 28 as part of the panel’s revived and expanded probe into ties between Trump and Moscow.

That testimony was initially scheduled for last Friday, but House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' Schiff: 'Hard to imagine a poorer case' than Trump's on emergency declaration MORE (D-Calif.) announced last week it would be delayed in the "interests of the investigation" without elaborating.

“Mr. Cohen has been fully cooperative with us, and we hope and expect that will continue, but we felt it was in the investigation’s interest that we postpone to that day,” Schiff told reporters.

Cohen is due to report to prison early next month for a slew of federal charges to which he pleaded guilty last year, including campaign finance violations stemming from a scheme to pay off women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump before the 2016 election. 

Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to the House and Senate Intelligence committees about discussions within the Trump Organization to build a property in Moscow, as part of a deal to cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s ongoing Russia investigation. 

Trump has lambasted Cohen as a liar and accused him of telling stories to prosecutors in order to obtain a lighter prison term. While Cohen has implicated Trump in the payments to the women, the president has denied any wrongdoing.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison in December and is supposed to report to prison in March.

Meanwhile, new details surrounding last April’s FBI raid on Cohen’s home, hotel room and office will soon be revealed. A federal judge in Manhattan last week ordered the partial release of search warrants and other materials underlying the raid after news organizations petitioned for the disclosure.  

The judge ruled that prosecutors should redact certain details to protect the ongoing investigation into the campaign finance violations; authorities are said to be examining whether other Trump Organization executives knew about the payments.  

“At this stage, wholesale disclosure of the Materials would reveal the scope and direction of the Government’s ongoing investigation,” U.S. District Judge William Pauley III wrote. “It would also unveil subjects of the investigation and the potential conduct under scrutiny, the full volume and nature of the evidence gathered thus far, and the sources of information provided to the Government.” 

Updated at 4:42 p.m.