Trump organization lawyer to talk with Senate intel committee
A lawyer for the Trump Organization is expected to testify behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week as part of the committee’s investigation of Russia’s connection to the 2016 election.
Attorney Michael Cohen confirmed to Fox News on Sunday that he’ll be speaking with the Senate Intel Committee Tuesday in the form of a closed session, much like Donald Trump Jr.’s interview with the committee two weeks ago.
Cohen is one of the latest of President Trump’s associates under scrutiny for his contact with a Russian official during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In January 2016, Cohen, the Trump Organization’s executive vice president and previously President Trump’s special counsel, had emailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary looking to speed up the development of a “Trump Tower” in Moscow, documents showed.
“Over the past few months, I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a Trump Tower-Moscow project in Moscow City,” Cohen told press secretary Dmitry Peskov. “Without getting into lengthy specifics, the communication between our two sides has stalled. As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance.”
In a letter sent to the House Permanent Select Committee in August, Cohen explained that the “proposal for ‘Trump Tower Moscow’” was “similar” to previous real estate projects that were “contemplated years before any campaign.”
Cohen said that he “primarily communicated” with a Moscow-based development company through a U.S. citizen “third party intermediary” named Felix Sater.
Cohen also wrote that he did “not recall any response” to the email he sent, “nor any other contacts by me with Mr. Peskov or other Russian government officials” about the proposal.
“The Trump Tower Moscow proposal was not related in any way to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign,” Cohen wrote. “The proposal had nothing to do with any ‘alleged’ collusion with Russia regarding the U.S. presidential election.”
Trump Jr. met with the Senate Intel Committee Sept. 7 after reports emerged that the president’s eldest son met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Emails released in July show that Trump Jr. was told before the meeting that it was part of a Russian government effort to help his father. The Trump administration has denied any wrongdoing in connection with Russia.
Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.