Congressional Democrats are now demanding an investigation be done after an anonymous bombshell report was published by Buzzfeed that claims President Trump instructed former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a building project in Russia.
Yes, that’s right. More Russia. It’s always Russia. Always.
That Cohen himself lied is not in question. Cohen pled guilty in November to lying to Congress about the timeline for a Trump Tower project in Moscow. At the time, Mueller charged Cohen with purposely lying about the date the project ended in order to “give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before ‘the Iowa caucus and … the very first primary,’ in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”
If Trump did in fact instruct Cohen to tell this lie, it would be a very serious offense. However, the Mueller report has not been released to the public, and until it has, assertions like these are impossible to verify.
According to the report from BuzzFeed:
[T]he two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.
The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.
Neither President Trump nor Mueller have issued any kind of response to the allegations made in the report. However, the president’s current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, recently told a reporter for the Washington Post that “If you believe Cohen, I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.”
California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff responded to the report in a tweet saying this particular allegation against the president is “among the most serious to do date,” and has promised to “do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.”
Schiff is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), who also sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said that if the story turns out to be true, “President Trump must resign or be impeached.”
If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019
Based on the Buzzfeed report and numerous other articles showing @realDonaldTrump committed Obstruction of Justice and other possible felonies, it is time for the House Judiciary Committee to start holding hearings to establish a record of whether @POTUS committed high crimes.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 18, 2019
At AG nominee Barr’s confirmation hearing, I asked whether a president directing a witness to commit perjury = obstruction. His response: Yes https://t.co/GM7zf6d8KM
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) January 18, 2019
I mean everything feels like a bombshell and we are all numb but I’m pretty sure if this story is true it’s – I’m going to be careful with my words here – something that congress must investigate thoroughly.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 18, 2019
At this point, it’s probably best to take these allegations with a grain of salt, particularly since the source isn’t willing to reveal themselves and stand by their claim.
It all seems sort of fishy, but we’ll just have to wait and see how this all unfolds.