Citing Threats From Trump, Cohen Postpones Testimony

He was scheduled to appear before Congress on Feb. 7
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2019 1:58 PM CST
Citing Threats From Trump, Cohen Postpones Testimony
In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, steps out of a cab during his arrival on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)

Michael Cohen says President Trump and his team are threatening him—and because of that, he has decided against testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7 as originally planned, the New York Times reports. "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," reads a statement from his attorney. "This is a time where Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first." Committee chair Elijah Cummings could subpoena Cohen to appear, and CNN reports Democrats are considering that option.

The statement gave no further details, and the Washington Post reports it's not clear what threats it is referring to. The Times says Cohen is citing Trump's "verbal attacks on Mr. Cohen’s family" and notes Trump has publicly called for members of Cohen's family to be investigated. A source tells the Post no threats have been reported to law enforcement. Both Trump and Giuliani have publicly criticized Cohen's cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Cohen pleaded guilty to crimes including arranging hush money payments to women alleging they had affairs with Trump and lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow; he is expected to begin a three-year prison sentence March 6, and it's not clear when his appearance before Congress might be rescheduled. (More Michael Cohen stories.)

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