Start of prison term for Michael Cohen delayed until May

Recovering from recent shoulder surgery, and with plans to testify before at least three Congressional committees, Michael Cohen was granted an extra sixty days by a federal judge to report to prison to serve his three year sentence for campaign finance violations and lying to Congress in a case that has drawn the personal ire of President Donald Trump.

"Given Mr. Cohen's recent surgery and his health and recovery needs, at this time Defendant requests an extension of his reporting date for sixty (60) days," lawyers for Cohen wrote in a request to Judge William H. Pauley, III, who approved it on Wednesday morning.

"Mr. Cohen also anticipates being called to testify before three (3) Congressional committees at the end of the month," the letter continued - no dates have yet been set for that testimony, which is expected to occur before the House and Senate intelligence committees, along with the House Oversight Committee.

On Wednesday night, Democrats set the first public hearing for Cohen next Wednesday, before the House Oversight Committee.

Cohen plead guilty last year to charges in two different criminal matters - first, lying to Congress about the extent of contacts during 2016 between the Trump Organization and developers in Russia looking to build a Trump Tower Moscow, and second, over campaign finance violations surrounding hush money payments made to two women before the elections, to keep them quiet about their affairs with Mr. Trump.

Cohen told a federal judge that he paid money to two women at the direction of a specific candidate for federal office, and coordinated “with one or more members of the campaign.”

That person was referred to only as "Individual-1," which from the court documents was obviously President Trump.

With testimony still ahead in Congress by Cohen - GOP lawmakers who have steadfastly defended the President in the Russia investigation - have already started to attack Cohen.

“When Cohen appears before our Committee, we can only assume that he will continue his pattern of deceit and perjury,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), in a letter to the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

A day after his Oversight testimony, Cohen will appear before the House Intelligence Committee for a closed door session.

President Trump has alternately denied wrongdoing in his work with Cohen, and attacked his former lawyer as a ‘rat.’

“I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” the President tweeted last year.