Dems demand answers following explosive new Cohen report

Democratic lawmakers vowed to probe the allegations contained in a bombshell BuzzFeed News report that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump reportedly met with Cohen, his former attorney and fixer, at least 10 times to discuss the tower while maintaining to the public that he had no business ties in Russia.

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Two law enforcement officials told Buzzfeed News that the then-candidate backed a plan for Cohen to visit Russia and meet with President Vladimir Putin to begin negotiating the project’s construction. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop Democrat accuses White House of obstructing review related to Trump-Putin communications Schiff would support impeachment if White House ignores a final court decision on documents, testimony US finds itself isolated in Iran conflict MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted Thursday that the allegation is "the most serious to date."

“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,” Schiff tweeted.

 

“We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.” 

Fellow Intel panel Democrats Reps. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Hispanic Caucus seeks to retain voice in House leadership Joaquin Castro calls out MSNBC contributor for confusing him with twin brother Julián on air MORE (D-Texas) and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellRules for first Democratic primary debates announced What do millennials want? 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE (D-Calif.) both commented on the matter as well, with Castro saying that if the "story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached."

Swalwell tweeted that this report was more "evidence of collusion."

 

Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchLawmakers spar at testy Mueller hearing Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE (D-Fla.), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “if this report is true, the pesident of the United States violated the law,” adding that the BuzzFeed News article was “damning” and “terrible.”

BuzzFeed News also reported that Cohen informed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Schiff says Intel panel will hold 'series' of hearings on Mueller report MORE about the pressure from the president to lie to Congress.

Mueller, who is leading an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016 and obstruction of justice, noted that the lies were made to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial Senate votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale Trump faces skepticism about Iran war authority from both parties MORE (D-Conn.) called for Mueller to "show Congress his cards before it's too late for us to act." 

“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,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted.

 

Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, dismissed the report, telling The Washington Post, “If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.” 

Cohen admitted in November to lying to Congress about Trump’s Moscow property plans. He made the false statements while testifying before two congressional intelligence committees in 2017.

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison for lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws regarding his payments during the campaign to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Donald Trump.