Senate panel postpones hearing with Trump lawyer Cohen in Russia probe

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, looks on as his attorney (not pictured) delivers a statement to reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Intelligence Committee investigating U.S. allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election said on Friday it had postponed a public hearing with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, and it would be rescheduled.

On Sept. 19, the committee abruptly canceled an interview with Cohen as part of its investigation into Moscow’s suspected hacking and propaganda campaign and possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials.

The panel said then that Cohen had been asked to appear at an open hearing on Oct. 25.

The September hearing was canceled after Cohen released a statement to the media, which committee leaders said violated the panel’s policy.

Senators Richard Burr, the Intelligence committee’s Republican chairman, and Mark Warner, its Democratic vice chairman, did not offer an explanation on Friday for the postponement of the public hearing.

They issued a brief joint statement: “The Committee’s public hearing with Michael Cohen has been postponed, and will be rescheduled at a later date. The Committee appreciates Mr. Cohen’s cooperation as its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections continues to make progress.”

The intelligence panel, other congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating whether Russia intervened to tilt the 2016 election in favor of Republican Trump against his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that it meddled in the election and Trump denies any collusion by his campaign, calling the investigations a “witch hunt.”

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Grant McCool