Intel panel expects to refer more cases of suspected lying to Mueller

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns GOP senators divided over approach to election security GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (R-N.C.) said Thursday that the Senate Intelligence Committee has made "quite a few referrals" to 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 of cases where witnesses questioned in the panel’s Russia probe were suspected of lying, adding he expects there will be more.

“We’ve made quite a few referrals,” Burr, who chairs the Senate panel, told The Hill on Thursday afternoon. “I won’t get into the numbers, but where we have found criminality, we have made those referrals, and I’m sure that they’re not the last." 

The Senate GOP chairman first revealed in November that the committee had referred cases of suspected lying to Mueller as the panel investigates Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow.

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His latest comments come after President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty last month to lying to the House and Senate Intelligence committees about plans to build a Trump property in Moscow.

Cohen, who also agreed to cooperate in Mueller’s sprawling investigation, has admitted to lying to Congress in order to minimize Trump’s connection to the proposed project and to limit the ongoing Russia probes. 

The former Trump lawyer was sentenced to three years in federal prison on Wednesday for other crimes and will serve a two month sentence concurrently for lying to Congress.

A committee aide told The Hill that the panel did not refer Cohen’s case to Mueller. Instead, Mueller was able to review the transcript from Cohen’s interview with the committee in October 2017 after obtaining consent from Cohen’s attorney, the aide said.

The Senate panel has interviewed a slew of witnesses behind closed doors in its Russia investigation over the course of nearly two years, but lawmakers have signaled that they are not finished with the probe.

The panel has requested to interview Cohen again, among others. Burr said Thursday he is “fairly confident” the probe will wrap up in the spring. 

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“It’s just a question of how long it takes us to wrap up the remaining folks that we need to interview and those that we need to call back,” Burr said. 

It is unclear who the committee believes may have lied during their testimony, or how many referrals the panel has made to the special counsel.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Democratic lawmaker: Mueller testimony 'doesn't have to go beyond' report to be 'really damning' for Trump 'Fox & Friends' co-host: 'I don't think' Mueller knows the details of Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.), the likely incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said after Cohen's plea that he believes others lied in their testimony before the House panel in its now-defunct Russia probe.

Since Cohen pleaded guilty, some attention has been paid to the transcript of September 2017 testimony from Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDemocrats seek to ban federal spending at Trump businesses Republicans, Trump Jr. signal support for embattled West Virginia governor The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back MORE, President Trump’s eldest son, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Trump Jr. acknowledged then that the discussions about the project within the Trump Organization occurred in 2015 and 2016 but said he was only “peripherally aware” of them.

According to court filings in the case of Trump’s former lawyer, the discussions continued as late at June 2016, at which point Trump was the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Cohen also briefed Trump and members of his family about the project, prosecutors said.

An attorney for Trump Jr. did not immediately return a request for comment.

Trump Jr. testified before the House and Senate Intelligence committees in December 2017. Neither committee has publicly released a transcript his testimony, though the House panel voted to release transcripts of dozens of interviews from its investigation in September. The transcripts, including one from Trump Jr.’s interview, have been passed to the Director of National Intelligence for a classification review.  

Others have pleaded guilty to false statements charges in connection with Mueller's probe, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosInquiry into origins of Russia investigation is a scam Trump accuses Democrats of crime amid rising calls for impeachment Comey: Trump peddling 'dumb lies' MORE, both of whom admitted to lying to FBI agents about their Russia contacts. Flynn is scheduled for sentencing next week.

Meanwhile, Trump has increasingly lashed out at Mueller's investigation, describing it as a partisan-led "witch hunt" and denying there was collusion between the campaign and Moscow.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Trump Jr.'s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.