Trump’s personal attorney summoned in Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House intelligence committee has subpoenaed US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as part of its ongoing investigation into Russia’s election meddling and contacts with the Trump campaign, according to a congressional aide.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal committee matters.

Cohen, a longtime attorney for the Trump Organization, remains a personal lawyer for Trump. He served as a cable television surrogate for the Republican during the presidential campaign.

The subpoena for Cohen comes as the congressional investigations into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia advance beyond formal requests for information from Trump associates. The president’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has also received subpoenas from the Senate panel regarding his Russian contacts and his business records. The House intelligence committee has also subpoenaed Flynn, the congressional aide said.

This file photo taken on January 4, 2017 shows Michael Flynn, then National Security Advisor designate, arriving at Trump Tower for meetings with US President-elect Donald Trump in New York. (AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

Cohen told ABC News Tuesday that he had been asked by both the House and Senate intelligence committees to provide information and testimony about contacts he had with Russian officials. Cohen told ABC he turned down the invitations.

In February, The New York Times reported that Cohen helped to broker a Ukraine peace plan that would call for Russian troops to withdraw from Ukraine and a referendum to let Ukrainians decide whether the part of the country seized by Russian in 2014 should be leased to Moscow. The Russian government denied knowing anything about such a plan.

The Times reported that the peace plan was the work of Felix Sater, a business associate who has helped Trump try to find business in Russia, and Cohen.

This file photo taken on May 29, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump speaking at Arlington National Cemetery to mark Memorial Day in Arlington, Virginia. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

Cohen was a fierce defender of Trump during the campaign, often haranguing probing reporters and famously challenging a CNN reporter live on-air to name the specific polls that showed then-candidate Trump behind his rival, Hillary Clinton.

In the early 2000s, he formed his own firm working on a range of legal matters, including malpractice cases, business law and work on an ethanol business in Ukraine. Cohen also owned and operated a handful of taxi medallions, managing a fleet of cabs in New York.

Cohen’s business associates in the taxi enterprise included a number of men from the former Soviet Union, including his Ukrainian-born father-in-law.

Cohen has made his own unsuccessful attempts at public office, losing a city council race and briefly running for state assembly in New York.

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