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Holder: If Trump directed Cohen to lie, impeachment proceedings ‘must begin’

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderFirst redistricting lawsuits filed by Democratic group On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history Voter suppression bills are the first move in a bigger battle MORE called for impeachment proceedings to begin if a report from BuzzFeed News saying President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign are true.

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“If true - and proof must be examined - Congress must begin impeachment proceedings,” Holder tweeted Friday.

“[William] Barr must refer, at a minimum, the relevant portions of material discovered by Mueller.  This is a potential inflection point,” he added, referring to Trump’s nominee for attorney general.

 

Holder, who is reportedly considering a 2020 presidential run, has cast himself as a staunch opponent of Trump’s, particularly over the White House’s sprawling legal entanglements.

The BuzzFeed News report says that Trump 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. Two law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that the president backed a plan for him to visit Russia and meet with President Vladimir Putin to begin negotiating the project’s construction.

“Make it happen,” the report says Trump told Cohen around the time.

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.

He reportedly told 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, who is leading an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016 and obstruction of justice, of the pressure to lie.

The report was met with swift reaction from a number of Democrats who demanded answers, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump backs Stefanik to replace Cheney Gender politics hound GOP in Cheney drama Senate Intel vows to 'get to the bottom' of 'Havana syndrome' attacks MORE (D-Calif.) saying, “We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.” 

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison on multiple charges, including lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project.