House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform

Michael Cohen postpones House testimony, blames Trump "threats"

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez via Getty Images

President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen said that he will postpone his scheduled Feb. 7 testimony before the House Oversight Committee due to "threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani," as well as his cooperation in ongoing investigations, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The big picture: House Oversight chair Elijah Cummings and House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff issued a statement Wednesday saying that while they understand Cohen's concerns, "not appearing before Congress was never an option ... We will not let the President's tactics prevent Congress from fulfilling our constitutionally mandated oversight responsibilities." President Trump, on hearing the news that Cohen was postponing his testimony over threats to his family, told reporters that Cohen is being "threatened by the truth."

House Oversight to investigate White House security clearances

Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner.
Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee announced Wednesday that it plans to begin "an in-depth investigation" of the White House and Trump transition team's procedures for granting security clearances "in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration."

Details: In a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) specifically cited the clearances of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who was granted a full clearance after a yearlong delay following concerns about his foreign contacts.

Go deeper: Democratic hit list: At least 85 Trump investigation targets

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