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techkenyot.com March 20, 2019


Trump's ex-lawyer Cohen says testimony 'could have been clearer': lawyer

14 March 2019, 07:39 | Glen Norman

Trump's ex-lawyer Cohen says testimony 'could have been clearer': lawyer

General Matthew Whitaker testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S. Feb. 8 2019. REUTERS  Jonathan Ernst  File

"Two, while he was acting Attorney General, Mr. Whitaker was directly involved in conversations about whether to fire one or more U.S. Attorneys", he continued.

Whitaker "said he did not talk with the president about Mr. Cohen at all, and had no conversations with the Southern District of New York", Collins told reporters.

Nadler indicated to reporters after the meeting Wednesday - which lasted roughly an hour - that Whitaker's follow-up comments did little to allay his concerns that Whitaker misled the full committee during his public testimony in February, when he refused to answer a question from Nadler about whether he and Trump had discussed the case against his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen in the Southern District of NY.

U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington Feb. 8 2019. REUTERS  Jonathan Ernst  File
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The House Oversight Committee chairman on Wednesday rejected Republican calls for a new investigation into President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and whether he again lied to Congress. There's a lot of fake news out there.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan declined to comment.

But the top Republican on the committee pushed back on Whitaker's comments in the closed-door meeting with the Judiciary Committee leaders, disputing Nadler's characterization of Whitaker's comments.

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The aides said that Whitaker denied interfering in the case or speaking with Southern District prosecutors, saying that he merely discussed his concerns with his own staff.

Nadler, on Wednesday, did not elaborate on what exactly Whitaker said behind closed doors about the phone call. "Mr. Whitaker said he did not have conversations with the president about Cohen", Collins, who has publicly butted heads with Nadler, told reporters.

"That was taken in the context of his job as the acting attorney general where there is discussions in the normal personnel issues".

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They said federal prosecutors in NY say Cohen sought employment in the Trump administration - something Cohen repeatedly denied in the hearing.

At the February hearing, which was held while Whitaker was still acting attorney general, Democrats confronted him on his past criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller's work and his refusal to recuse himself from overseeing it, attacked him over his prior business dealings and challenged his credentials as the country's chief law enforcement officer.

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, including making the hush money payments. Trump has denied those claims.

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