Trump’s lawyer is now included in Senate Russia probe.
Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen is refusing the the Senate Intelligence Committee’s request to hand over Trump campaign documents relating to Russia.
“I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad, and not capable of being answered,” Cohen told ABC News in an email Tuesday.
Cohen has been reportedly been under scrutiny by the FBI for his connections to Russia. In Trump’s first weeks in office, Cohen raised suspicions even further by hand-delivering a sealed proposal that would ultimately roll back financial sanctions against Russia, according to the New York Times. Cohen has no previous experience in foreign policy.
Cohen is not a typical personal attorney in that he spent many billable hours on cable television during the campaign defending Trump and sometimes promoting violence against his boss’ detractors.
Following a contentious exchange between then-Fox anchor Megyn Kelly and Trump in the first Republican primary presidential debate, Cohen retweeted a user who said “#boycottmegynkelly @realDonaldTrump we can gut her.” He threatened a Daily Beast reporter about publishing an unflattering story about Trump: “I will mess your life up.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, has sent similar requests for documents and testimony to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, and former foreign policy adviser Carter Page. Unlike Cohen, all three have said they are cooperating with the Senate’s investigation.
Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn is the only other known Trump adviser who has rejected the committee’s requests. The Senate Intelligence Committee then subpoenaed Flynn but Trump’s former adviser declined, invoking the 5th Amendment. It is not known whether the committee will subpoena Cohen as well.