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

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderBarack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Ocasio-Cortez to be first guest on new Desus and Mero show Holder says he will make 2020 decision in coming weeks MORE called for impeachment proceedings to begin if a report from BuzzFeed News saying 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 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 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.) 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.