Cohen changes legal team amid push for congressional testimony

Cohen changes legal team amid push for congressional testimony
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is switching up his criminal defense legal team, his attorney Lanny Davis said Monday.

Davis said in a statement that Cohen will no longer be represented by Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester.

Michael Monico, a former U.S. attorney, and Barry Spevack will now represent Cohen in his work with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s office, federal prosecutors and congressional committees.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We look forward to helping Mr. Cohen fulfill what he has told us is his only mission - to tell the truth as he knows it and to turn the corner on his past life and taking ownership for his past mistakes by cooperating as best as he can with all governmental authorities in search of the truth,” Monico and Spevack said in a joint statement.

Cohen had hired Petrillo in June. The attorney used to lead the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where Cohen had been under criminal investigation.

The staffing change comes as Congress seeks testimony from Cohen. The president’s former lawyer and longtime fixer had initially agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but postponed that appearance over threats from Trump.

“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen's continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” Davis said in a statement last week.

The Senate Intelligence Committee also subpoenaed Cohen last week.

Cohen was interviewed by investigators for the Senate panel in fall 2017.

Trump’s former attorney has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, as well as to violating campaign finance laws, and in December was sentenced to three years in federal prison. Cohen will report for that sentence in early March.