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 TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border 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 SchiffSchiff says Trump intel chief won't comply with subpoena over whistleblower Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Schiff: Diplomacy with Iran 'only way out of this situation' 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 CastroHispanic Democrats announce 'Latina Prosperity Principles' It's legal to tweet the names of all of Trump's donors, but it's probably not a good idea The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions MORE (D-Texas) and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate 5 takeaways from fiery Democratic debate 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 DeutchGun epidemic is personal for lawmakers touched by violence House panel advances anti-gun violence legislation Gun debate to shape 2020 races 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 MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal 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 MurphyKavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Senate Democrats to hold the floor to protest inaction on gun violence 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.