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Impeachable? Trump Directs Cohen To Lie To Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

House Democrats say they will look into whether President Trump asked former lawyer Michael Cohen to commit perjury. Impeachable? Trump Directs Cohen To Lie To Congress

Lawmakers said they would investigate a report that President Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the president’s involvement in a real-estate deal with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Impeachable? Trump Directs Cohen To Lie To Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

The chairmen of two House investigative panels said Friday they would probe the report’s allegations. Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said the panel would “do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.”

“The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date,” he tweeted.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N,Y), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted that the panel’s “job is to get to the bottom of it, and we will do that work.” He added: “We know that the President has engaged in a long pattern of obstruction.”

Impeachable? Trump Directs Cohen To Lie To Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

Mr. Trump in a tweet Friday morning suggested Mr. Cohen was “lying to reduce his jail time,” but didn’t specify what he believed his former lawyer was lying about. Mr. Cohen was already sentenced last month to three years in prison.

Responding to the reported allegation, Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, questioned Mr. Cohen’s credibility. “Haven’t checked it out but if you believe Cohen I can get you a good all-cash deal on the Brooklyn Bridge,” Mr. Giuliani said via text message.

The president has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice.

Other Democratic members of the panel called for severe consequences if Mr. Trump is found to have directed his lawyer to lie to Congress. “If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas) said on Twitter.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a tweet that the report “establishes a clear case of obstruction of justice,” and said: “It is time for the House Judiciary Committee to start holding hearings to establish a record of whether @POTUS committed high crimes.”

He added: “Oh, fyi the first Article of Impeachment for Richard Nixon was Obstruction of Justice.” The House Judiciary Committee is the panel charged with initiating impeachment proceedings if there is enough support in the chamber to do so.

Impeachable? Trump Directs Cohen To Lie To Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

Buzzfeed News reported late Thursday, citing two law-enforcement officials, that Mr. Cohen had told special counsel Robert Mueller that the president had directed him to tell Congress in his 2017 testimony that negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended in January 2016, when in fact they had continued through June of that year—a month after Mr. Trump effectively won the GOP nomination. Buzzfeed also reported that Mr. Mueller had evidence corroborating Mr. Trump’s direction of Mr. Cohen, including interviews and documents.

Mr. Cohen is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7, though his testimony is not expected to focus on what he has discussed with Mr. Mueller, according to a person close to Mr. Cohen.

Mr. Cohen in December pleaded guilty in a case brought by Mr. Mueller to lying to Congress, telling a federal court that he had lied “out of loyalty” to Mr. Trump. He has since been sentenced to three years in prison.

In a December court filing in which they recommended no jail time for their client, Mr. Cohen’s attorneys said that in the weeks that his written response was being prepared for Congress, Mr. Cohen “remained in close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel” to Mr. Trump, referred to as “Client-1.”

Suborning perjury is a crime that constitutes obstruction of justice. William Barr, Mr. Trump’s attorney general nominee, said in his confirmation hearing earlier this week that “a president persuading a person to commit perjury” was obstruction.

Mr. Mueller, as part of his investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, is probing whether the president obstructed justice, including by firing former FBI Director James Comey while the agency’s Russia investigation was under way. Mr. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction, and Russia has denied election interference.

Lanny Davis, a spokesman for Mr. Cohen, declined to comment on the Buzzfeed report. A spokesman for Mr. Mueller didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Impeachable? Trump Directs Cohen To Lie To Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

Democratic lawmakers who have thus far not sought to rush Mr. Mueller’s investigation called for an immediate release of details to Congress.

“Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn’t end his inquiry, but it’s about time for him to show Congress his cards before it’s too late for us to act,” Rep. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) tweeted.

Aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) declined to comment on the report. A spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) did not return a request for comment.

Impeachable? Trump Directs Cohen To Lie To Congress (#GotBitcoin?)
After The Special Counsel’s Office Disputed Its Report, Buzzfeed Said It Was Confident In Its Story.

Special Counsel Disputes BuzzFeed Report That Alleged Trump Directed Cohen To Lie to Congress

House Democrats said earlier they would probe the allegations in the report.

The special counsel’s office issued a rare statement late Friday disputing a BuzzFeed report that said President Trump directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the president’s involvement in a real-estate deal with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller.

The statement came nearly a day after BuzzFeed published the story, citing two anonymous law-enforcement sources, that set off a firestorm in Washington. The chairmen of two House investigative panels had said earlier Friday they would probe the report’s allegations.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said the panel would “do what’s necessary to find out if it is true.” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted that the panel’s “job is to get to the bottom of it, and we will do that work.”

Mr. Trump in a tweet Friday morning suggested Mr. Cohen was “lying to reduce his jail time,” but didn’t specify what he believed his former lawyer was lying about. Mr. Cohen was sentenced last month to three years in prison.

Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, had responded to the story by questioning Mr. Cohen’s credibility. “Haven’t checked it out but if you believe Cohen I can get you a good all-cash deal on the Brooklyn Bridge,” Mr. Giuliani said via text message.

On Friday, Mr. Giuliani said in a statement: “Any suggestion—from any source—that the president counseled Michael Cohen to lie is categorically false.” He called the allegation that Mr. Trump had directed Mr. Cohen to lie to Congress “just more made-up lies born of Michael Cohen’s malice and desperation.”

The president repeatedly has denied collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice.

BuzzFeed News reported late Thursday that Mr. Cohen had told Mr. Mueller that Mr. Trump had directed him to tell Congress in his 2017 testimony that negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended in January 2016, when in fact they had continued through June of that year—a month after Mr. Trump effectively won the GOP nomination.

BuzzFeed also reported that Mr. Mueller had evidence corroborating Mr. Trump’s direction of Mr. Cohen, including interviews and documents.

Late Friday, responding to the statement from the special counsel’s office, BuzzFeed said it was confident in its story. “We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing,” Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed, said on Twitter.

A sentencing statement by Mr. Cohen’s attorneys last month suggested that the former Trump lawyer had acted at Mr. Trump’s behest when he lied to Congress—an allegation that wasn’t repeated when Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court later that month.

The attorneys wrote in that filing that their client’s false statements to Congress were “intended to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1’s directives,” referring to Mr. Trump.

Yet when Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, he said he had lied “to be consistent with [Mr. Trump’s] political messaging and out of loyalty to” Mr. Trump, and made no mention of any directive from the president.

Mr. Cohen is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7, though his testimony isn’t expected to focus on what he has discussed with Mr. Mueller, according to a person close to Mr. Cohen.

Suborning perjury is a crime that constitutes obstruction of justice. William Barr, Mr. Trump’s attorney general nominee, said in his confirmation hearing earlier this week that “a president persuading a person to commit perjury” was obstruction.

Lanny Davis, a spokesman for Mr. Cohen, declined to comment on the BuzzFeed report.

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