Cohen postpones testimony, citing threats against family
New York: US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said that he was postponing his public congressional testimony scheduled for next month, citing “ongoing threats against his family” from the President and his attorney Rudy Giuliani.
“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” CNN quoted Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis as saying on Wednesday.
“Cohen wishes to thank Chairman Cummings for allowing him to appear before the House Oversight Committee and looks forward to testifying at the appropriate time.
“This is a time where Cohen had to put his family and their safety first,” Davis added.
Earlier this month, Cohen had agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee as a “commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers”.
A source told CNN on Wednesday that Cohen’s wife and father-in-law feel threatened by comments by the President and Giuliani.
It has been Cohen’s intention to testify, but he has had reservations – and vacillated – because of concerns for his family given the Trump and Giuliani statements, the source said.
Cohen’s decision raises questions about whether he will ultimately testify publicly. He reports to prison for a three-year sentence on March 6.
Asked on Wednesday about Cohen citing the threats, Trump said: “Well I would say he’s been threatened by the truth. He’s only been threatened by the truth.”
After Cohen’s public testimony was announced on January 10, the President attacked him in a Fox News interview, suggesting without evidence that he was aware of damaging information about Cohen’s family.
Then on Twitter, the President added: “Lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!”
iuliani appeared on news shows over the weekend where he called Cohen “a serial liar”.