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Senate Intel Committee invites Trump lawyer to testify in open session

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The Senate Intelligence Committee has invited President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen to appear in an open session at the end of October.

The hearing will take place on Wednesday, October 25 at 10 a.m. ET, according to a joint statement from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Virginia, released Tuesday.

Cohen, a longtime confidant of Mr. Trump, was originally scheduled to speak with committee staff Tuesday behind closed doors, as part of the investigation into any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

However, the committee decided to postpone its meeting with Cohen after he released a four-page opening statement to the press ahead of his interview.

In the statement, he related his attempt to contact a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Trump Organization's pursuit of a Trump Tower project in Moscow.

Cohen said that it was "solely a real estate deal and nothing more" and claimed the proposal was abandoned "months before the very first primary" in January 2016, according to his statement. He also reiterated his claim that he's seen no evidence that the Trump campaign was involved with Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Cohen had already been in the committee's offices for roughly an hour and a half Tuesday morning when it decided to postpone the hearing.

"It was a request of the Senate Intel to postpone, and I'll be back, and I look forward to giving all the information that they're looking for," Cohen told reporters Tuesday morning.

Later Tuesday, Burr and Warner issued a statement regarding their earlier meeting with Cohen.

"We were disappointed that Mr. Cohen decided 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," their statement reads. "As a result, we declined to move forward with today's interview and will reschedule Mr. Cohen's appearance before the Committee in open session at a date in the near future. The Committee expects witnesses in this investigation to work in good faith with the Senate."

Cohen's attorney Stephen Ryan told reporters that he and his client stand by the opening statement.

"That statement was factual, it was accurate, it was respectful and we stand behind that statement," Ryan said. "The committee has chosen to postpone today's meeting, and we will come back for a voluntary interview whenever we can to meet with them, and we look forward to voluntarily cooperating."

Cohen has denied any personal connection to the Russian government, including allegations that he had a secret meeting with Kremlin-connected officials in Prague in the summer leading up to the U.S. presidential election. He has also has refuted claims made in a 35-page dossier regarding Mr. Trump's alleged campaign collusion efforts.

Blair Guild

Blair Guild is a politics reporter and video producer for CBS News Digital.

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