As more and more details emerge about the investigation of the connections between Russia and the Trump administration, even more associates are coming under scrutiny. ABC News reports that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, fellow daughter appreciator, and a close confidant, is another focus of congressional investigations into Trump and Russia. Cohen has already made it clear that he’s not voluntarily cooperating with requests that have been issued (although the Senate Intelligence Committee has the blanket authority to issue subpoenas as they deem necessary):
Cohen confirmed to ABC News that House and Senate investigators have asked him “to provide information and testimony” about any contacts he had with people connected to the Russian government, but he said he has turned down the invitation.
“I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” he told ABC News in an email Tuesday.
Cohen, who left the Trump Organization to take the position as the President’s personal attorney, has long defended Trump in the press, threatening legal action against reporters and media outlets on his behalf. After James Comey was fired as FBI director, Cohen tweeted “I believe @POTUS was justified in terminating #Comey as @FBI director. #RT if you agree with me!”
Cohen was named in the secret dossier provided to John McCain last year, though many of the allegations have yet to be verified. One said he met with Russian officials in Prague last August but, according to his passport stamps, he was in Italy. Though his name has popped in connection to the Russia investigation before, Senate and House committees seeking answers is something new.
It remains to be seen which strategy Michael Cohen will take with Congressional investigators. Four other Trump advisors have received similar requests. Three (Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Page) have said they are cooperating while Michael Flynn has declined to provide communication records and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights.
(Via ABC News)