The hits keep on coming from the law enforcement and intelligence communities on Trump's inner circle, and this week has been no different from the last several as now we discover that Trump's personal lawyer and legal adviser Michael Cohen is the latest name on the Russia investigation list.
Cohen confirmed to ABC News that House and Senate investigators have asked him “to provide information and testimony” about any contacts he had with people connected to the Russian government, but he said he has turned down the invitation.
“I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” Cohen told ABC News in an email Tuesday.
After Cohen rejected the congressional requests for cooperation, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to grant its chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, and ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, blanket authority to issue subpoenas as they deem necessary.
"To date, there has not been a single witness, document or piece of evidence linking me to this fake Russian conspiracy," Cohen added. "This is not surprising to me because there is none."
While much of the media focus in recent days has fallen on Russian contacts made by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, there are few people closer to the president than his longtime lawyer. Insiders consider Cohen to be Trump’s pit bull or consigliere for his role in threatening legal action against Trump critics, gaining notoriety for threatening and browbeating reporters investigating Trump’s background.
He was quoted in 2015 telling Daily Beast reporters, “I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. 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.”
In a 2016 appearance on CNN that went viral, the stone-faced attorney flashed anger when anchor Brianna Keiler said the Trump campaign was “down.”
“Says who?” he challenged. When she cited polls, he countered, “Which polls?” She replied, “All of them.” His final response in that exchange proved prescient: “You’re going to all be very surprised when he polls substantially higher than what you all are giving him credit for.”
After the 2016 campaign, Cohen left the Trump Organization to become the president’s personal attorney, a job he still holds. From that post, he has continued to weigh in on Trump’s behalf on Twitter and during occasional television appearances.
Cohen is Trump's legal hitman, wielding lawsuits like pistols as he charges in blazing to take out Trump's enemies. He's pretty decent at it too, but there's no way Cohen doesn't know where all the Trump regime's bodies are buried. Cracking him would definitely be key to the investigation.
Still it means that Robert Mueller's investigation, and that of the Senate at least are moving forward.