Senate committee cancels testimony by Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen

Executive Branch

Michael Cohen

The Senate Intelligence Committee has canceled an interview scheduled for Tuesday with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The interview was supposed to take place behind closed doors, but Cohen’s prepared statement to the committee was obtained by several publications, including the Washington Post, NBC, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

Committee leaders apparently blamed Cohen for the disclosure, saying in their own statement that Cohen had released the information even though he had been asked to refrain from public comment. The committee leaders said they planned to reschedule the interview, this time in an open session.

Cohen’s statement was submitted to the committee, according to Cohen’s lawyer, Steve Ryan.

Cohen’s statement said he “emphatically” denied he had anything to do with Russian involvement in the electoral process. He also said he “never saw anything—not a hint of anything—that demonstrated [President Donald Trump’s] involvement in Russian interference in our election or any form of Russian collusion.”

Cohen’s statement asserted that his reputation was damaged by a “totally false” and “lie-filled dossier” by a former British spy who wrote a report for a political intelligence firm.

The unverified dossier, which claimed Cohen met with Russian operatives in Prague, was published in January by BuzzFeed. Cohen says he has never been to Prague or the Czech Republic. The FBI has found no evidence that there was such a trip, according to the Wall Street Journal

“In my opinion, the hired spy didn’t find anything factual,” Cohen said in the statement, “so he threw together a shoddily written and totally fabricated report filled with lies and rumors.”

Cohen had unsuccessfully sought to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He has said he discussed the possibility of building the tower with Trump three times during the presidential campaign.

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