Three top Democrats warn Trump not to interfere with Michael Cohen testimony

Ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen to testify to Congress

Three Democrats who head influential House committees are warning President Trump not to obstruct their efforts to question his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

"The integrity of our process to serve as an independent check on the Executive Branch must be respected by everyone, including the President," Reps. Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler said in a joint statement. "Our nation's laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress."

"The President should make no statement or take any action to obstruct Congress' independent oversight and investigative efforts, including by seeking to discourage any witness from testifying in response to a duly authorized request from Congress," they said.

Their statement follows Mr. Trump's comments in a Fox News Channel interview in which he alleged potential legal problems involving a Cohen relative and took digs at Cohen's honesty and his own legal woes.

In their message to Mr. Trump, the chairmen of the Intelligence, Judiciary and Oversight committees said: "Our nation's laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress."

Cohen's testimony on Feb. 7 could serve as the opening salvo of a promised Democratic effort to scrutinize Mr. Trump, his conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia.

Cohen has gone from being a trusted legal adviser to the president to a public antagonist who has cooperated extensively with prosecutors. That's led Mr. Trump to call Cohen a "rat."