House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he will subpoena President Donald Trump‘s former longtime attorney Michael Cohen to testify before his committee “if necessary.” He also said that he already has set a date for Cohen to come before his committee to answer questions that Schiff and other Democrats have been waiting over a year to ask him.
“Yes, we’ve given Michael Cohen a date that we’d like him to come in either voluntarily or, if necessary, by subpoena,” Schiff said. Cohen is already scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee on February 7. Soon after that he will start to serve his three-year prison sentence.
In a statement announcing his testimony to that congressional panel, Cohen said he looked “forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired.”
Last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to nine federal felonies, including two campaign-finance violations. As the personal attorney and “fixer” for President Donald Trump, Cohen arranged for the payment of “hush money” to two different women who said they had illicit sexual relationships with Trump while he was married to Melania.
Cohen also pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress while under oath. In the spring of 2017 he had appeared before two congressional committees and lied about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. Trump’s lies to the committees were consistent with the lies Donald Trump had told to the American people during his campaign.
Trump denied the affairs and has accused Cohen of lying to get a reduced sentence. He also has denied that he asked or directed Cohen to lie to Congress on his behalf.
Last Thursday BuzzFeed News reported that Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress about the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project. BuzzFeed cited as their source two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. They said that Robert Mueller had documentary evidence to back up the assertion the Trump had suborned perjury in directing Cohen to lie under oath.
On Friday Mueller’s office issued a statement disputing the BuzzFeed report, saying its “description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.” Since then BuzzFeed has continued to stand by its story, and is protecting its sources.
Schiff said that one of his goals in talking to Cohen is to get him to disclose more information to clarify the role of the president in the crimes that he committed, and for which he will be serving three years in prison.
In his television interview Sunday, Schiff referred to comments made by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani which muddied the waters further, saying that he would need to investigate those comments in greater detail in his attempts to uncover the truth about what really happened.