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

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderFeds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner The old 'state rights' and the new state power The Hill's Morning Report — Harris brings her A game to Miami debate MORE called for impeachment proceedings to begin if a report from BuzzFeed News saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade 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) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate 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 SchiffCourt filings show Trump, Cohen contacts amid hush money payments House passes annual intelligence bill Judge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media 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.