Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, finished another lengthy day of testimony behind closed doors for the House Intelligence Committee earlier this week. He was praised for being forthcoming with explosive information, but now several outlets are reporting some additional details about his preparations for this testimony that are generating quite a bit of fresh buzz.
According to The Daily Beast, some Democratic staffers from the House Intelligence Committee met with Cohen in New York four separate times prior to his testimony taking place. The information comes from Lanny Davis, one of Cohen’s attorneys.
This revelation is generating quite a bit of talk, especially among conservatives. Fox News reports that Cohen spent more than 10 hours with staffers from the office of Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. That news is leading a number of conservatives to question whether this time together amounted to coaching Cohen ahead of his testimony.
Those discussions prior to the testimony reportedly covered topics such as allegations Cohen made that President Trump regularly undervalues his assets along with details about American Media CEO David Pecker and efforts by the National Enquirer to squash stories about the president and others.
According to Davis, there was nothing inappropriate about the meetings between Cohen’s team and Schiff’s staffers.
“It’s completely appropriate, and he would have done the same thing for Republicans had they asked.”
There had been some acknowledgment of these meetings during Cohen’s first two sessions of testimony. However, it’s just now that additional details are emerging and conservative outlets are voicing outrage over it.
NEW: House Dems traveled to meet with Cohen four times before he testified to Congress https://t.co/zIGhqAM0FL
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 8, 2019
Ohio Republican Representative Mike Turner has specifically spoken out about this, and he wrote a letter to Cohen asking about these pre-testimony meetings. That letter questioned the meetings and their intentions.
“Clearly, there will be questions as to whether or not such contacts, if they occurred, constitute witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or collusion, collaboration, and cooperation between the House Democratic majority, their staff, and you.”
Now that details about the meetings and the letter have emerged, Turner has released a statement regarding his concerns.
“The American public need to know that what they have witnessed over the past two weeks has been orchestrated theater produced by Democrats. This level of coaching of a witness is highly unprofessional and inappropriate, and any claim to the contrary is complete nonsense.”
Michael Cohen himself doesn’t appear to be commenting on this topic at this point, nor does his team seem interested in engaging beyond the statement already made by Lanny Davis. Many conservatives across social media are voicing frustration over the newly-emerged details about these meetings, but it’s not clear right now whether any additional clarity on those meetings will be revealed.