Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, back center, leaves after a closed door Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Latest: Cohen says Trump knew about WikiLeaks email dump

February 27, 2019 - 12:52 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's appearances this week before Congress (all times local):

12:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer is preparing to tell a House committee that his former boss knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks would release emails damaging to his rival Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Michael Cohen says in the prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press that Trump also implicitly told him to lie about a Moscow real estate project. Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the project, which he says Trump knew about.

Cohen says Trump didn't directly tell him to lie, but that "he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing."

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11:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says the American people can decide "exactly who is telling the truth" after he testifies publicly in a highly-anticipated House Oversight and Reform committee hearing Wednesday.

Cohen, once Trump's loyal attorney and fixer, has turned on his former boss and cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

He begins a three-year prison sentence in May after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 and committing campaign finance violations while he was working for Trump.

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7 p.m.

President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has left the Senate intelligence committee's offices after more than nine hours behind closed doors.

Cohen said after leaving the interview that he appreciates the opportunity to "clear the record and tell the truth." Cohen pleaded guilty last year to lying to the panel in 2017 about a real estate project in Moscow.

He has since turned on the president and cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. He is set to begin a three-year prison sentence in May.

Cohen says he is looking forward to testifying at the House Oversight and Reform Committee Wednesday so he can "tell the American people my story."

He says he is "going to let the American people decide exactly who is telling the truth."

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2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump's ex-lawyer is now an ex-lawyer.

Michael Cohen was officially disbarred on Tuesday while he was in Washington giving closed-door testimony to the Senate intelligence committee.

A New York court ruled that Cohen's guilty plea last November automatically stripped him of his eligibility to practice law.

A spokeswoman for Cohen did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to the House and Senate intelligence committees and to campaign finance violations for his involvement in payments to a former Playboy model and porn actress who allege they had affairs with Trump. Cohen is due to start a three-year prison sentence in May.

Cohen had been practicing law in New York since 1992.

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9:50 a.m.

The White House is seeking to discredit President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer as he makes a series of appearances on Capitol Hill.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders issued a statement Tuesday, saying Michael Cohen was "going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements."

Sanders says it's "laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

Cohen arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin three days of congressional appearances. The public will hear from him Wednesday when he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Cohen is set to serve time in prison for lying to the House and Senate intelligence committees in 2017.

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12:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen will start a three-day gauntlet of congressional appearances by giving a closed-door interview to the Senate intelligence committee, where he is expected to detail what he claims to know about Trump's contacts with Russians and other sensitive matters.

Senators are suspicious of Cohen, who is set to serve time in prison for lying to the committee in 2017. But they are also eager to hear what Trump's former loyal fixer has to say.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr tells The Associated Press that senators will have staff ask questions in Tuesday's session but will be there to observe. He says no topics will be off limits and that Cohen "should expect to get any question from anywhere about anything."

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