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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 TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire 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 SchiffAngus King warns of 'grave danger' of Trump revealing classified information Schiff says 'massive intelligence and security failure' led to Capitol breach Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration 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 CastroSunday shows preview: Washington prepares for an inauguration and impeachment; coronavirus surges across the US Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Lawmaker to unveil bill ensuring nothing — 'no airport, no highway, no school' — is named after Trump MORE (D-Texas) and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell compares Trump to bin Laden: They 'inspired and radicalized' Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump 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 DeutchHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump This week: Congress poised to buy more time on spending, coronavirus talks 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 Health Care: Testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing | Health workers refusing vaccine is growing problem | Incoming CDC director expects 500,000 COVID deaths by mid-February COVID-19 testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party 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.