President Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen has postponed his testimony before the House Oversight Committee, citing threats from President Donald Trump and lawyer Rudy Giuliani against his family.
In what TV news pundits had been eagerly describing as Must See TV, Cohen had volunteered to testify before the House Oversight Committee on February 7.
Wednesday afternoon, Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis cited “threats against him and his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani as recently as this weekend” as well as “Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations,” in a statement announcing the postponement.
“By advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date. Mr. Cohen would to thank [House Oversight Committee Chairman] Elijah 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 Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”
Earlier this month, Cohen agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee that day about the work he did for the man he said he would take a bullet for.
CNN pundit Van Jones translated to viewers, “When your homeboy starts snitching, you are in trouble.”
The public hearing is scheduled for a month before Cohen is set to report to prison, after pleading guilty to making campaign finance related payments to silence two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump years earlier.
Cohen also admitted to lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project, acknowledging that effort went on later than he previously testified, into summer of 2016 when Trump was clearly the GOP candidate.
Trump responded to news Cohen would testify at the open-to-public hearing, saying his former attorney is “lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!”:
Lanny Davis blasted that tweet as the work of a “mafioso don” trying to “intimidate a witness.”
“The president of the United States [is] trying to intimidate a witness that is trying to tell the truth and called him a rat for telling the truth,” Davis told MSNBC’s MTP Daily, adding that Trump’s mobster-like remarks “creates fear in the family of Michael Cohen.”
More recently, Giuliani, appearing on Jake Tapper’s Sunday Beltway show, got asked if Trump’s repeated remarks about Cohen’s father-in-law could be construed as an attempt to intimidate a witness.
Giuliani responded that Cohen’s father-in-law is Ukranian, which Tapper said was not a crime. Giuliani added that Cohen’s father-in-law has “millions and millions of dollars” and “he may have ties to organized crime” without elaborating.