The Latest: Trump’s ex-lawyer Cohen disbarred

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s appearances this week before Congress (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer is now an ex-lawyer.

Michael Cohen was officially disbarred on Tuesday while he was in Washington giving closed-door testimony to the House intelligence committee.

A New York court ruled that Cohen’s guilty plea last November automatically stripped him of his eligibility to practice law.

A spokeswoman for Cohen did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate intelligence committee and to campaign finance violations for his involvement in payments to a former Playboy model and porn actress who allege they had affairs with Trump. Cohen is due to start a three-year prison sentence in May.

Cohen had been practicing law in New York since 1992.

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9:50 a.m.

The White House is seeking to discredit President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer as he makes a series of appearances on Capitol Hill.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders issued a statement Tuesday, saying Michael Cohen was “going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements.”

Sanders says it’s “laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies.”

Cohen arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin three days of congressional appearances. The public will hear from him Wednesday when he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Cohen is set to serve time in prison for lying to the House and Senate intelligence committees in 2017.

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12:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen will start a three-day gauntlet of congressional appearances by giving a closed-door interview to the Senate intelligence committee, where he is expected to detail what he claims to know about Trump’s contacts with Russians and other sensitive matters.

Senators are suspicious of Cohen, who is set to serve time in prison for lying to the committee in 2017. But they are also eager to hear what Trump’s former loyal fixer has to say.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr tells The Associated Press that senators will have staff ask questions in Tuesday’s session but will be there to observe. He says no topics will be off limits and that Cohen “should expect to get any question from anywhere about anything.”

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, arrives to testify before a closed door hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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