Former Trump lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen announced on Wednesday that he will be postponing his scheduled appearance before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Cohen made the statement through his lawyer, Lanny Davis.
In the statement, Davis said, “Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani … Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date.” The statement ended with “This is a time where Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 23, 2019
Cohen was set to testify before the House Oversight Committee, which is newly under Democratic control, on February 7. Wednesday was already a busy day for the committee — only hours earlier, they sent a letter to the White House announcing that they were investigating security clearances.
Though Davis used the word “postponed,” it’s unclear if Cohen will ever appear before the committee.
Trump’s former lawyer was sentenced to three years in prison for a string of crimes. In his sentencing, he was remorseful and characterized his relationship with the president as one of “blind loyalty.”
Since Cohen began cooperating with the authorities, Trump has attacked him on a number of occasions, notably on Twitter.
After Buzzfeed claimed that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, the president accused his former attorney of “lying to reduce his jail time.” Trump also seemed to threaten Cohen’s father-in-law in the tweet.
In an earlier interview with Fox News, Trump also said Cohen “should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one that people want to look at.” Following that remark, Davis said that Cohen was reconsidering his appearance before Congress, but Davis speculated that Cohen would go ahead with the February visit to Capitol Hill.
More than a few pundits and commentators interpreted the president’s tweet and statement as blatant witness tampering.