Courtesy of The Atlantic

Cohen’s much-hyped public testimony before a separate panel, the House Oversight Committee, was expected to be highly restricted to avoid interfering with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, with which Cohen has been cooperating for several months. (Cohen postponed that hearing following attacks from the president and the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on his wife and father-in-law.) But the intelligence-committee hearings will be conducted behind closed doors, giving Cohen the opportunity to have a freer exchange with the members.

Cohen is willing to answer questions about what he’s told Mueller and other issues related to the ongoing investigation, according to two people familiar with his plans. (They, like other people I spoke with, requested anonymity to discuss the private deliberations.) However, his legal team is also in talks with Mueller’s office to determine whether there are any parameters for his testimony. The House Intelligence Committee is also “in consultation with the special counsel’s office to ascertain any concerns that they might have and to deconflict,” according to a committee aide.

“The reason that he agreed to testify privately for the intelligence committees is, first and foremost, because he owes them,” one of the people familiar with Cohen’s plans said. “He pleaded guilty to lying to them and owes them an apology.” Cohen admitted in court late last year that he lied to Congress when he told them that negotiations to build a Trump Tower Moscow ended in January 2016, and that he hadn’t discussed it much with Trump. In fact, Cohen testified, he agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow project and took steps to prepare for Trump’s possible trip there after he clinched the Republican nomination.

Cohen is “more open to answering questions” about these and other Russia-related issues than he would have been in a public setting, according to this source, as long as he remains “secure in the knowledge that both committees will protect his testimony and prevent leaks.”

Well, then I guess there might be at least something good about Cohen testifying behind closed doors. 

Now we just need to trust the Democrats to leak out the really scandalous stuff.