Trump's lawyer hires his own attorney for Russia investigations

The committee had sent Cohen a non-binding invitation to testify first, but Cohen balked.
By Vicky Webb | Jun 19, 2017
Michael Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer, has sought out legal counsel for himself in the runup to a testimony he is required by subpoena to give to the House Intelligence Committee later this year, according to NBC News on Friday. The news network reported that Cohen hired Washington, DC-based attorney Steven Ryan.

The House committee issued Cohen a subpoena in May pursuant to its fact-finding of Russia's election meddling and contacts with the Trump campaign. Cohen will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on September 5.

The committee had sent Cohen a non-binding invitation to testify first, but Cohen balked. The subpoena followed.

"I declined the invitation to participate as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered," Cohen told The Associated Press at the time.

He has been a longtime legal representative for the Trump Organization, has personally represented Donald Trump in the past, and he stood in for the Trump campaign as a surrogate spokesperson in television news segments in the months leading up to the election. As such, the committee will likely question him about his knowledge of Trump campaign officials and their activities.

Cohen's own ties to Russian interests may also be a point of committee interest. The New York Times reported that Cohen had participated in brokering a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine in 2014, although the Russian government denied that any such peace deal ever existed.

Trump and Vice-President Pence each hired attorneys in May to represent them in the investigations, as well. Trump retained Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer whom he has known for decades; while Pence obtained the legal services of Virginia attorney Richard Cullen.

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