- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2019

Michael Cohen has postponed a scheduled closed-door appearance Tuesday before a Senate committee because of “post-surgery medical needs,” his attorney said Monday.

The delay is the third time this month that Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony has been pushed back. He was scheduled to appear before the Senate intelligence panel, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has accepted Mr. Cohen’s request for postponement of tomorrow’s hearing due to post-surgery medical needs,” his attorney, Lanny Davis, said in a statement.

Mr. Davis said Cohen, a former attorney and fixer for President Trump, will testify at a “future date” which he did not specify.

A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment on the delay.

Cohen’s medical needs are likely related to his recent shoulder surgery.

Democratic lawmakers in both the House and Senate are eager to talk with Cohen before he reports to federal prison to serve a three-year sentence March 6. He pleaded guilty last year to tax fraud, campaign-finance violations and lying to Congress in his 2017 testimony before the same Senate Intelligence Committee.

During that hearing, Mr. Cohen misled lawmakers on the pace of plans for a Trump Tower hotel project in Moscow.

Mr. Trump’s opponents are hoping Cohen’s testimony will be damaging to the president. During a court appearance last year, he said he violated campaign laws at the direction of Mr. Trump.

However, Mr. Davis and Republicans have said Cohen is barred from discussing ongoing investigations, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, raising questions about how useful his testimony will be.

Cohen was initially scheduled to appear to before the House Oversight Committee for a public hearing Feb. 7. He canceled that appearance citing “ongoing threats” against his family by Mr. Trump and his current lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.

A makeup date had reportedly been scheduled but then canceled.

He was also slated to give closed-door testimony before the House intelligence committee the next day, Feb. 8. That hearing has now been rescheduled for Feb. 28.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, California Democrat, said the delay was in the “interests of the investigation,” but declined to elaborate.

Mr. Cohen has been fully cooperative with us, and we hope and expect that will continue, but we felt it was in the investigation’s interest that we postpone to that day,” Mr. Schiff said.

Mr. Trump has blasted his longtime associate as a liar, insisting he is making up stories to curry favor with prosecutors and earn a lighter sentence. He has also denied that he directed Cohen to break the law.

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