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 TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration 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 SchiffWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' Schiff: 'Hard to imagine a poorer case' than Trump's on emergency declaration 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 CastroGOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it Dems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Ocasio-Cortez, Castro plan to introduce bill to block national emergency MORE (D-Texas) and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDemocratic donors stuck in shopping phase of primary Five takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing Top Judiciary Republican to Swalwell: 'Stop running for president' 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 panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales Whitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers Parkland father on Gaetz advocating for border wall in gun violence hearing: 'Pretty offensive' 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 MurphyCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen This week: Border deal remains elusive as shutdown looms 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.