“Michael Cohen’s alleged statements are more of the same from him and confirm the observations of prosecutors in the Southern District of New York that Cohen’s ‘instinct to blame others is strong’,” a statement from Jane Serene Raskin and Patrick Strawbridge, attorneys for Jay A. Sekulow, read.
“That this or any Committee would rely on the word of Michael Cohen for any purpose – much less to try and pierce the attorney-client privilege and discover confidential communications of four respected lawyers – defies logic, well-established law and common sense.”
Sekulow’s legal team released the statement after the House intelligence committee on Monday released two transcripts of closed-door interviews with Cohen along with some exhibits from the testimony.
According to the transcript, Cohen told the committee he was directed to lie by Sekulow on the topic of the Trump Tower Moscow project.
“To be perfectly clear about this, the statement about the Trump Tower negotiations ending in January that was part of your original draft was false, and Mr. Sekulow knew that it was false?” California Democrat Adam Schiff asked Cohen, according to the transcript.
"Yes, sir," Cohen replied, according to the transcript.
In public testimony before a separate House committee in February, Cohen said Trump's attorneys, including Sekulow, had reviewed and edited the written statement about the Moscow project. Cohen acknowledged in a guilty plea last year that he misled lawmakers by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower Moscow project in January 2016, when in fact he pursued it for months after that as Trump campaigned for the presidency.
The committee's decision to release the transcripts came two weeks after Cohen reported to federal prison for a three-year sentence. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations, lying to Congress and other crimes. He is the only person charged with a crime in connection with the hush-money payments made to women who allege they had affairs with Trump.
The transcripts are from interviews the panel conducted with Cohen in February and March. The vote to release them, which was held behind closed doors, was 12-7.
Cohen became a key figure in congressional investigations after turning on his former boss and cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Mueller's final report, released in April, examined conduct related to Cohen as one of several possible instances of obstruction of justice by the president.
Mueller's team wrote in its report that Cohen told one of Trump's personal lawyers after an FBI raid on his home that "he had been a loyal lawyer and servant" and "he was in an uncomfortable position and wanted to know what was in it for him."
The report says that Cohen was told he "should stay on message, that the investigation was a witch hunt, and that everything would be fine." Cohen understood that to mean he would be "taken care of" if he stayed on message, whether through a pardon or by the investigation being shut down.
Fox News' Jason Donner and the Associated Press contributed to this report.