Trump's lawyer meets with House investigators

Trump's lawyer meets with House investigators
© Getty Images

President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenHope Hicks defends accuracy of her congressional testimony Gaetz cleared by Florida Bar after Cohen tweet probe IRS staffer pleads guilty to giving Avenatti confidential info about Cohen MORE, interviewed before the House Intelligence Committee for nearly six hours in a closed-door session on Tuesday.

Cohen, who has previously drawn congressional ire for speaking to reporters about closed-door interviews, emerged tight-lipped from the marathon session.

“Not gonna happen,” a lawyer for Cohen said when asked if the former Trump Organization lawyer would be commenting on his testimony.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cohen is seen as a key figure in the myriad investigations into election meddling, thanks both to his work on a proposed Trump Tower deal in Moscow and his appearance in an unconfirmed dossier full of incendiary allegations about Trump and Russia.

A fiercely loyal aide known from his days as an executive at the Trump Organization as the president’s “pit bull,” Cohen has denied any whiff of collusion between the president’s campaign and Russia.

"I'm certain that the evidence at the conclusion of this investigation will reinforce the fact that there was no collusion between Russia, President Trump, or me," he said in a written statement issued to the press during an aborted interview before the Senate Intelligence Committee in September.

In a letter written to that committee's leaders in August and released last month, Cohen's lawyer argued that the former Trump Organization executive would not be involved in the panel's investigation into Russian interference in the election absent the allegations contained in the dossier.

He provided a point-by-point rebuttal of specific claims in the 35-page compendium, which was compiled by a former British spy named Christopher Steele as opposition research into then-candidate Trump.

Cohen’s name appears in numerous allegations in the document, including an alleged secret meeting with Kremlin officials in August 2016 in Prague.

The dossier also claims that Cohen was deeply involved in a “cover up and damage limitation operation in the attempt to prevent the full details of Trump’s relationship with Russia being exposed.”

Cohen has also downplayed the proposed Trump Tower deal in Moscow, describing it as nothing more than a potential licensing arrangement negotiated through a broker who was not paid when the deal fell apart "for business reasons."

The Senate panel canceled Cohen’s September interview over the release of his statement — which was published after he had entered the committee’s secure spaces. He will return on Wednesday to try again.

Cohen acted as an informal surrogate on TV for Trump during the presidential race but never took on a formal role in the campaign.

Though Cohen recently told Vanity Fair he would “take a bullet” for the president, he said that he has not spoken to Trump in “several weeks,” on the advice of counsel.

“At times I wish I were there in D.C. more, sitting with him in the Oval Office, like we used to at Trump Tower, to protect him,” Cohen said.