At last, the Senate has used its powers to force an unlikely person to testify in public, and he is not at all happy about it.
Senate investigators and the president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen apparently entered into an agreement. He could testify while before a hearing, provided he not talk to the media about the sensitive information. Of course, lying and offering misleading testimony to Congress carries a criminal penalty.
Unfortunately for Cohen, Vanity Fair printed some of the attorney’s prepared testimony.
The committee decided to subpoena Trump’s attorney, meaning that he could be forced to speak before an open hearing. What about client-attorney privilege? It seems, the investigators can cancel out that privilege under certain circumstances, such as when investigators finding the two individuals were involved in alleged illegal activity.
In Cohen’s released written remarks to Vanity Fair, he blamed “misinformation and unnamed or unverified sources:”
‘Let me be clear that I am totally innocent of the allegations raised against me in the public square, which are based upon misinformation and unnamed or unverifiable sources. I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack anyone or any organization.’
‘I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack the Democratic Party computers; and I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to create fake news stories to assist the Trump campaign or to damage the Clinton campaign.’
After he gave his prepared comments, Cohen walked out of the hearing without giving any testimony nor answering any questions from the committee.
As a result, Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence panel Richard Burr of South Carolina and Democratic leader Senator Mark Warren of Virginia released a joint statement that said they were “disappointed,” according to the Washington Examiner:
‘(We were) disappointed that Mr. Cohen decided to preempt today’s interview by releasing a public statement prior to his engagement. The Committee expects witnesses in this investigation to work in good faith with the Senate.’
You can read Cohen’s full statement by clicking here on CNN’s link.
Check out this video about Trump’s attorney’s testimony below via the Washington Examiner:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla.