Politics

Russia Probe Expands To Include Trump's Lawyer (Photo)

| by Sheena Vasani

Congress will expand its Russia probe to include President Donald Trump's personal lawyer.

The attorney, Michael Cohen, confirmed the House and Senate requested "information and testimony" about people he knows connected to the Russian government, ABC News reports. Cohen has declined.

"I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered," explained Cohen.

"To date, there has not been a single witness, document or piece of evidence linking me to this fake Russian conspiracy," he later added. "This is not surprising to me because there is none."

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But after Cohen declined to answer, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on May 25 to issue subpoenas as they deem necessary.

It's not the first time Cohen has been under suspicion. During the 2016 presidential campaign, a former British intelligence agent prepared a dossier that made many question the extent of Cohen's involvement with Russia.

In the unverified document, unconfirmed reports allege Cohen collaborated with Russians to hack the Democratic National Committee's computers during the presidential campaign.

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At the time, Cohen again denied any wrongdoing, calling the dossier "laughably false" and noting its alleged factual errors.

The document, for example, states Cohen's Ukrainian-born father-in-law had a vacation home, or a dacha, near that of President Vladimir Putin.

"I don’t even think my father-in-law has ever been to Moscow," said Cohen.

The dossier also alleges Cohen met with the Russians in Prague in August 2016, but Cohen was reportedly vacationing in Italy at the time.

Officials say it is possible he entered the Czech Republic through another European country. If this is true, his passport was not stamped while crossing the border, providing no proof he visited the city.

Cohen has long been one of the closest and most loyal confidants to the president. He is also renowned for his aggressive approach to reporters.

"You’re going to all be very surprised when he polls substantially higher than what you all are giving him credit for," Cohen once angrily -- and ominously, to some -- snapped at a CNN anchor in 2016 when she pointed out Trump's polls, at the time, were down.

Cohen is also famous for threatening reporters who were looking into Trump's background.

"I will take you for every penny you still don’t have," he once warned a Daily Beast reporter. "And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know -- So I’m warning you, tread very f---ing lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f---ing disgusting."

Sources: ABC News, Daily Beast / Photo credit: Global Panorama/Flickr, Stephanie Keith via Daily Beast

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