Michael Cohen faces 'extensive grilling' about his previous lies to Congress in his first day of testimony

Michael Cohen.
(Image credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen's three days of testimony on Capitol Hill began with questions about why he lied to Congress before.

Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, and although it wasn't open to the public, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told CNN that Cohen spent "quite a bit of time explaining what he had told us before that wasn't truthful"

This would presumably include Cohen telling the Senate Intelligence Committee in a 2017 letter that discussions of building a Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January 2016. Cohen would later plead guilty to lying to Congress, admitting that the discussions continued for months afterward and that he lied about the timeline in order to fit with Trump's "political messaging." CNN reports Cohen was asked why he lied and whether Trump was involved, although there's no word on what he told them.

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told CNN that Cohen was receiving an "extensive grilling" by the committee. She also said the testimony was surprising because "he's a very different guy" now.

Cohen on Wednesday will testify again, but this time in public and before the House Oversight Committee. He will reportedly for the first time publicly accuse Trump of criminal activity while in office, also bringing documents with him and discussing Trump's alleged "lies, racism, and cheating." Republicans have dismissed Cohen's testimony as meaningless since he has lied to Congress in the past. "It's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word," the White House said Tuesday, "and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.