Republican lawmakers are demanding answers from President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, as new revelations emerge that his lawyer Lanny Davis ‘pushed’ Cohen to testify before their committee.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows, with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, revealed the information in a five-page letter sent to Cohen’s criminal defense attorney Guy Petrillo. The lawmakers said Davis told them on Jan. 1, that Cohen will refuse to answer “any matter under investigation,” according to the letter, obtained by SaraACarter.com.
Davis also admitted to the lawmakers during the meeting that Cohen’s hearing scheduled for next month, “was my idea and nobody else’s.”
The lawmakers, however, told Petrillo that excluding testimony regarding the investigations is not acceptable and hinders their ability to conduct oversight. The pair also laid out the documents they say are necessary to obtain from the lawyers so the committee can conduct a thorough investigation.
Our members intend to Cohen whatever question they deem appropriate, Jordan and Meadows.
“Our members intend to Cohen whatever question they deem appropriate,” said Meadows and Jordan.
Materials Requested by Lawmakers from Petrillo
- Any FD-302 forms and any other investigative reports created by the DOJ and FBI in their investigations of Cohen.
- Any FD-1023 forms that may have been created involving Cohen.
- All cooperation agreements between Cohen and DOJ;
- Any notes taken by DOJ and FBI during their multiple interviews of Cohen.
- Documentation of all agreements Cohen has with DOJ, the FBI, and any other foreign government’s law enforcement agencies;
- Any copies of waivers referring or relating to Cohen’s client representations
- Any copies of waivers referring or relating to Davis’s representation of Cohen whether related to attorney-client, conflict of interest or otherwise
- Identify the scope of Cohen’s intended testimony before the committee Feb. 7.
Cohen Will Share “anecdotes” about Trump but Nothing on Investigation
Davis told us Cohen’s testimony will exclude any matter under investigation, letter states.
Cohen will share information and “anecdotes” about his time working for President Trump when he appears before the House Oversight Committee, Davis told lawmakers. Davis also informed Jordan and Meadows that he will not allow Cohen to speak about the ongoing investigations.
“Davis told us Cohen’s testimony will exclude any matter under investigation,” the letter states,” the letter states.
“The non-exhaustive list of issues that Cohen will refuse to address include matters involving the Attorney General for the State of New York, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the office of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III,” lawmakers added the letter.
There are “inherent challenges” with the upcoming hearing, the lawmakers said. The hearing, arranged by Davis and new committee Chairman Democrat Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, presents a litany of problems if Cohen is barred from speaking about the circumstances that led to the investigation.
First, Davis’ representation of Cohen is an apparent conflict of interest because of his past ties working for former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Secondly, the hearing comes against the “backdrop” of news reports regarding Trump and Cohen that have now proven to be false…”it will be occurring against the backdrop of news accounts published about the Special Counsel’s work that have proven untrue,” the letter states.
The letter is referring to the controversy regarding the BuzzFeed News article, which stated that President Trump asked Cohen to lie about Trump’s Moscow Project. The article was later discredited by Mueller’s office.
“Shortly after the publication, in an extremely rare public comment, the Special Counsel’s office released a statement, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” the letter stated.