Cohen returns for new closed-door hearing with House lawmakers

Cohen returns for new closed-door hearing with House lawmakers
© Greg Nash

Former Trump attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump goes scorched earth against impeachment talk Trump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds Cohen challenges Sekulow to testify about Trump Tower meetings MORE is returning to Capitol Hill Wednesday to continue his closed-door interview before the House Intelligence Committee, one week after his blockbuster public testimony against President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE.
 
His return appearance behind closed doors comes as House Democrats are readying broad probes into Trump and his administration, some of which involve Cohen and stem from allegations of criminal conduct he made last week.
 

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Cohen, who has cooperated with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE’s investigation, claimed that Trump knew in advance that WikiLeaks was planning to dump hacked Democratic emails that could hurt the Clinton campaign, after listening in on a phone call between his longtime friend Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneDOJ plans to show Senate Intel less-redacted Mueller report, filing shows Roger Stone considers suing to discover if he was spied on by FBI Stone claims unfair prosecution by Mueller MORE and WikiLeaks. Stone has denied his account.
 
Cohen said, however, that he had no direct knowledge of collusion between Trump or his campaign and the Kremlin.
 
Cohen also went into greater detail about talks within the Trump Organization to build a Trump property in Moscow during the 2016 campaign. He told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that he briefed Trump and his family on the project a half-dozen times between January and June 2016 and that those discussions included Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' #TrumpTantrum spreads on Twitter after impromptu press conference Trump family members will join state visit to UK MORE and Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump family members will join state visit to UK The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump blows up meeting after Pelosi 'cover up' remarks Trump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul MORE.
 
Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in earlier testimony about the deal.
 
Cohen also suggested his 2017 congressional testimony about the length of the project discussions was edited after Trump’s attorneys reviewed it. The president’s lawyer Jay Sekulow vehemently denied that Trump’s attorneys edited or changed the statement to alter the duration of the discussions surrounding the proposed Trump property in Moscow.
 
Questions about potential pardon talks could come also up.
 
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The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Cohen’s attorney at the time approached the president’s lawyers about a possible pardon after the April 2018 raid on Cohen’s office, home and hotel room.

The Washington Post reported late last week that the Senate and House Intelligence committees privately questioned Cohen on whether he had discussions about the potential for a pardon.


Little is known about what Intelligence lawmakers learned from Cohen during eight hours of testimony he gave behind closed doors last week.
 
Cohen morphed into a likely congressional witness after he pleaded guilty to a series of crimes last year and implicated Trump in a scheme to pay off women who alleged affairs with him before the 2016 election.

Democrats stepped up their pressure for Cohen to return to Capitol Hill after he pleaded guilty to lying to both the House and Senate Intelligence committees last November.
 
Cohen is the first of several witnesses that the House Intelligence panel is expected to call in the course of its revived and expanded investigation into Russian interference. Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump declassification move unnerves Democrats Trump appeals order siding with House Democrats bank subpoenas MORE (D-Calif.) announced last week that the committee would hold a rare open hearing with former Trump business associate Felix Sater on the defunct Trump Moscow project on March 14.