Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report

Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report
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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wants Michael Cohen to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the wake of a bombshell report that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE told his former lawyer to lie to Congress about an effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Blumenthal sent a letter on Friday to Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, saying that Cohen must be asked to testify "immediately" and that the panel "must conduct a thorough investigation of the president’s involvement in these crimes and whether he obstructed justice to hide them."
"If these reports are true, the president is guilty of obstruction of justice, suborning perjury, and conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. § 1001, which prohibits making false statements to Congress," Blumenthal added.
BuzzFeed News, citing two federal law enforcement officials, reported Thursday that Cohen told special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE that Trump personally directed him to lie after his election about the timing of when the negotiations involving the project ended in an effort to obscure the president’s involvement.
Trump hit back at Cohen on Friday, accusing his former lawyer of “lying to reduce his jail time." But the explosive report immediately sparked calls from House and Senate Democrats to investigate the allegation. 
Cohen has already been scheduled to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb. 7.
Calls for the Judiciary Committee to ask Cohen to testify and investigate the matter come as previous attempts by the panel under then-Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces White House denies exploring payroll tax cut to offset worsening economy Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord MORE (R-Iowa) to investigate various threads of the 2016 election or the fallout from FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE's firing quickly unraveled into partisan fighting on the committee. 
But Blumenthal, in his letter to Graham, argued that members have a "constitutional duty" to be a "check" on the president.
"The hour to put country before petty partisan differences has come. The American people are beginning to ask whether their president is a criminal, and Mr. Cohen’s testimony can help answer that question," Blumenthal added.