Lawyer: Panel delays interview

Lawyer: Panel delays interview”

The panel scheduled the October 25 hearing Tuesday afternoon after abruptly canceling a closed-door interview with Michael Cohen Tuesday morning.

The president's oldest son, Trump Jr., and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had earlier met with the committee behind closed doors.

"We said you want to violate our rules, fine, we'll have you back in public and let all the committee members ask him questions directly", Warner continued.

"We were disappointed that Mr. Cohen chose to pre-empt today's interview by releasing a public statement prior to his engagement with Committee staff, in spite of the Committee's requests that he refrain from public comment", Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice-Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The Senate Intelligence Committee said it will hear testimony from Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, in an open session after the panel canceled his closed-door meeting with staff on Tuesday.

Shortly after the committee issued its request for a public hearing, Cohen accepted the invitation, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Cohen was at the Senate Intelligence offices for over an hour but didn't answer a reporter's question on what happened for that length of time given that the interview was postponed.

Fewer than seven hours later, Cohen was issued an invitation to return to the committee next month in open session in what's likely to be biggest Russian Federation spectacle since fired FBI Director James Comey testified publicly in June.

Tuesday's tactics add another layer that the Senate intelligence panel is differentiating itself from the other congressional probes into Russia's election meddling as the three investigations compete for witnesses - and try to operate alongside Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe, with mixed results.

Burr said that he expects numerous key witnesses to eventually return for questioning before committee members, including potentially in public session.

The leaders said they are "disappointed that Mr. Cohen made a decision to pre-empt today's interview by releasing a public statement" and expect witnesses to work in good faith with the committee. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the statement.

Michael Cohen is appearing Tuesday before staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Cohen says in his statement that the proposed deal was abandoned in January 2016 - "months before the very first primary" - and that he was simply "doing my job". He said he never saw any evidence of collusion with Russians relating to the election.

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