Russia investigation now includes Trump's personal attorney

The congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election now reportedly includes President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Cohen told ABC News on Tuesday that he was asked by House and Senate investigators "to provide information and testimony" regarding communication he has had with people connected to the Russian government.

“I declined the invitation to participate as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” Cohen said in an email.

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ABC News noted that after Cohen declined to cooperate, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee voted last Thursday to give the panel's chairman and ranking Democrat the power to issue subpoenas when they think it's necessary.
 
NBC News reported on Tuesday that the request letters sent to Cohen were the same ones sent to former Trump aides Carter Page, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.
 
Last month, Cohen defended the president's relationship with Russia, saying in an interview that Trump is reducing tensions between the United States and Moscow.
 
"At least there's a relationship that's been started between the president and President Putin," Cohen said. "Now he can actually reach out to him and have a conversation with him that's not already predicated on tension. The president will get done what he needs to get done."
 
Trump on Tuesday said Russian officials are likely "laughing" at the U.S. amid continuing reports about the Russian election meddling.
 
"Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News," Trump tweeted Tuesday.
 
Reports in recent days have focused on Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, who reportedly sought in December to set up a backchannel line of communication between the Trump transition team and Moscow.
 
The Justice Department earlier this month named a special counsel to investigate Russian election meddling.
 
--This report was updated at 1:34 p.m.