Senate Intel Dem: Trump lawyer 'tried to pull a fast one'

Senate Intel Dem: Trump lawyer 'tried to pull a fast one'
© Keren Carrion

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, “tried to pull a fast one” by releasing a public statement ahead of his closed-door meeting with committee staff. 

The committee postponed its interview with Cohen scheduled for the day before, shortly after he released a statement saying "there was no collusion" between Trump and Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

“Well we hope to bring Mr. Cohen back in October in a public setting,” Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerEurope a cautionary tale for privacy, not a guiding light Dustbin 2020: The best Dems who surely won’t get the nomination WikiLeaks says Senate panel requested Assange testimony for Russia probe MORE (Va.) told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” 

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“We've had most of these preliminary interviews in private so the staff can go through in a lengthy process. And we’ve done this on an invitation basis, but we've also said to witnesses we’re not going to have some witness come in without senators there, and then go out and make some public statement saying in effect there’s no there-there.”

Shortly before he was set to appear behind closed doors with Senate Intelligence staff, Cohen released a statement to the press.

“That's not fair. That's not right,” Warner said.

“Mr. Cohen, who’s had a colorful past to say the least, I think tried to pull a fast one and tried to put out a public statement. And we said ‘you want to violate our rules, fine, we'll have you back in public.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrFlorida questions Senate chairman over claim that Russians have ‘penetrated’ election systems WikiLeaks says Senate panel requested Assange testimony for Russia probe Tougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans MORE (R-N.C.), who along with Warner is leading one of the upper chamber’s investigations into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, also criticized Cohen’s decision to issue the statement.

“The committee is not going to be manipulated by individuals that want to put out a statement, not tell us about putting out a statement and know that whatever they say we can't come out and refute because our investigation is behind closed doors,” Burr said.