Political News

Rep. Castro: All topics likely on the table for Michael Cohen's House hearing

Posted January 29, 2019 8:00 p.m. EST

— Rep. Joaquin Castro said Tuesday that he believes no topics are off limits for the expected hearing next week with President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen.

"Right now I don't see anything that is closed off in terms of questioning," the Texas Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."

Cohen agreed on Monday to a closed-door hearing with the House Intelligence Committee, of which Castro is a member, on February 8.

Among the topics Castro believes will be addressed in the hearing are money laundering, obstruction of justice and why the lawyer lied to Congress in 2017. Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress during his testimony before the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

Cohen said in his guilty plea that Trump had spoken with him more extensively during the 2016 presidential campaign about the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow than Cohen had admitted to Congress.

"We also want to understand whether he was directed to lie to Congress the last time he came in front of our committee or other congressional committees," Castro said.

Specifically, Castro said he plans to ask Cohen whether the President himself had directed the lawyer to lie.

Cohen was initially scheduled to testify publicly on February 7 but postponed that appearance, citing threats to his family. The rescheduled hearing will be private.

"Remember, this is all closed doors," Castro said. "It's a transcript right now that doesn't look like it's going to be released to the public. Although, I think all of this, as much as possible, should be done out in the open."