Politics

Michael Cohen to testify again before House Intelligence Committee next week

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee for nearly eight hours Thursday, concluding a three-day stretch of testimony he delivered this week. He appeared publicly before another House panel yesterday and behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Cohen will return to testify before the House Intelligence Committee again on March 6, he said in a brief statement. 

“We had a long day, but it wasn’t a long enough day,” Committee chairman Adam Schiff told reporters after the hearing. “I can say that on a number of topics that he testified about yesterday we were able to go into great detail.”

“But we also covered a number of items and issues important to us that were not the subject of the hearing yesterday,” Schiff said.

After Cohen’s second, closed-door appearance next week, Schiff said the committee would hold an open hearing on March 14 with Russian-born businessman Felix Sater, who worked with Cohen to pitch the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow. The committee previously interviewed Sater behind closed doors in December 2017.

A Democratic committee aide also confirmed that the committee would seek testimony from Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, whose name was invoked with frequency during Mr. Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.

In that appearance, Cohen also mentioned Mr. Trump’s children, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, as well as the president’s former secretary, Rhona Graff. The House Intelligence Committee has already interviewed Graff and Trump, Jr., but has not called Ms. Trump to testify.

Several of the committee’s members have previously voiced an interest in hearing again from Trump, Jr., as well as from witnesses Republicans declined to call last year, including George Papadopoulos, Trump campaign official Rick Gates, and lobbyist George Nader.  

Three Democratic sources told CBS News that, even without cameras in the hearing room, there was significant friction with Republican members of the committee as Cohen’s hearing began. One called the morning hours of the proceedings “tense.” Another said there was “yelling.” 

Mr. Schiff has vowed to restore “comity” to the committee, which was roiled by partisan infighting for much of the past year.

After he left the hearing, Cohen thanked reporters for waiting, and said the session had been “very productive.”  Cohen, who in the past has had contentious encounters with the press, went out of his way to be polite, even apologizing for the long wait.

“Thank you guys so much,” he said to reporters. “I’m sorry you guys had to stick around all day long.”

California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell told reporters said Cohen came across as “credible” and offered “a lot of new evidence.” Cohen vowed to bring additional corroborating materials when he returns for additional testimony on March 6, Swalwell said.  

Schiff called Cohen “fully cooperative” and said he answered “all of our questions.” A transcript of the proceeding will be publicly released at a later date, Schiff said.

CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan and Richard Escobedo contributed to this report.


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