President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, turned down a request from House and Senate investigators to “provide information and testimony” as part of the Russia probe, ABC News reported on Tuesday.
“I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” Cohen told ABC News.
Cohen could still be forced to testify. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously voted last week to give Chairman Sen. Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner “blanket authority to issue subpoenas as they deem necessary.”
The broad grant of power to Burr and Warner came in response to Cohen’s refusal to testify, ABC News reported.
A controversial and unverified dossier accused Cohen of meeting with Russian operatives in Prague last August to discuss meddling in the presidential election. It turned out that the Michael Cohen who visited Prague was a different Michael Cohen.
Cohen is the latest figure in Trump’s inner circle to become a focus in the investigation into Russian election meddling. The investigation so far has failed to produce any evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians.
Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has also become a recent focus of the Russian investigation, although he has not been accused of any wrongdoing. (RELATED: FBI’s Kushner Focus Appears To Prove Bannon Right)
Kushner has faced scrutiny for his meetings with Russian officials after the election, including allegations that he proposed setting up a secret backchannel between the Trump transition team and Russian officials.