Trump’s Personal Attorney Cohen Has Lawyered Up Himself For Russia Probe

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2016, file photo, Michael Cohen, an attorney for President-elect Donald Trump, arrives in Trump Tower in New York. Cohen fired back at critics on Twitter on May 14, 2017, after he posted a picture of his daughter wearing lingerie. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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Michael Cohen, longtime personal attorney to President Donald Trump, has retained his own legal counsel to handle the sprawling probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Cohen has hired Stephen Ryan of Washington, D.C. law firm McDermott, Will & Emery, as NBC News’ Katy Tur first reported Friday and Cohen confirmed to the Washington Post. Much of Ryan’s practice is devoted to trying cases for lobbyists, but he also has experience prosecuting criminal cases and directing investigations into organized crime networks.

The House Intelligence Committee approved subpoenas for Cohen back in May, asking for testimony, personal documents and business records. He said this week that he is scheduled to testify before the panel in early September—an appointment that the committee has not confirmed.

Cohen is a firebrand attorney best known for his colorful defenses of the President on TV and Twitter. As TPM has reported, he has extensive business ties to immigrants from former Soviet republics living in the U.S. and earlier this year helped deliver a Ukrainian lawmaker’s “peace plan” that called for lifting U.S. sanctions against Russia to the desk of Michael Flynn, the ousted national security adviser.

Cohen is only the latest Trump associate to lawyer up as the congressional and federal Russia investigations accelerate.

Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, who has also been asked to turn documents over to the House Intelligence Committee, has retained Dennis Vacco, a partner at New York law firm Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, according to the Post. NBC reported that Caputo also has been contacted by the FBI.

News broke Thursday night that Vice President Mike Pence also hired outside legal counsel, Richard Cullen, to assist with queries about the multiple Russia probes. He said Friday that this move was “very routine,” according to a White House pool report.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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