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 Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' 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 SchiffDemocrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Democrats face tough questions with Bolton 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 CastroSteyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Hispanic Caucus formally endorses George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Technical difficulties mar several remote House hearings MORE (D-Texas) and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell: Trump 'makes us look like geniuses every day for impeaching him' Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Democrats face tough questions with Bolton 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 DeutchUS lawmakers call on EU to label entire Hezbollah a terrorist organization 189 House Democrats urge Israel to 'reconsider' annexation Partisan divide on annexation complicates US-Israel relationship 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 MurphyConnecticut senators call for Subway to ban open carry of firearms Democrats optimistic about chances of winning Senate Gridlock mires chances of police reform deal 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.