Sep 19, 2017

Senate Intel Committee cancels Trump lawyer interview

Cohen departs following the cancellation of his meeting with the Senate Intelligence panel on Capitol Hill. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Michael Cohen, a close associate and former lawyer for President Trump's business, was set to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee today as part of the probe into election interference by Russia. But the committee's staff canceled the meeting this morning, per The Washington Post.

What happened today: Cohen had arrived with his attorney for the interview but left after about an hour since committee staff had informed him they didn't want to interview him. Committee chairman Richard Burr and vice chairman Mark Warner said in a statement that the committee broke the meeting off because Cohen broke an agreement not to release a public statement before the meeting. Cohen will be rescheduled for an open hearing.

Context: Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele alleged in the unverified Trump dossier that Cohen helped the Russian efforts by meeting with Kremlin associates in Prague. Cohen also was involved in discussions for building a Trump Tower in Moscow, and turned over emails relating to the discussions last month.

Key points from his prepared statement, via CNN:

  • "I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack anyone or any organization" including the "Democratic Party computers."
  • He denied helping create fake news stories to amp up Trump's campaign.
  • He said he never saw anything — "not a hint of anything" — that showed Trump was involved in Russian interference in the election or "any form of Russian collusion."
  • Cohen said the dossier was "riddled with total falsehoods and intentionally salacious accusations."
  • He said he has never been to Prague or the Czech Republic.
  • About the Moscow Trump Tower exploration: "This was solely a real estate deal and nothing more."

Kicker: "You can oppose the President's points of view and his policies, but not raise false issues about the validity of his victory."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 722,435 — Total deaths: 33,997 — Total recoveries: 151,991.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m.. ET: 142,502 — Total deaths: 2,506 — Total recoveries: 4,856.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

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World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health