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 TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction 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 GrahamJudiciary chairman issues subpoena for full Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Barr to allow some lawmakers to review less-redacted Mueller report as soon as next week 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.
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BuzzFeed News, citing two federal law enforcement officials, reported Thursday that Cohen told special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 GrassleyOn The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost The 7 most interesting nuggets from the Mueller report Government report says new NAFTA would have minimal impact on economy MORE (R-Iowa) to investigate various threads of the 2016 election or the fallout from FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction Mueller's done, and Dems should be too — because Trump is no Nixon Time for Democrats to accept reality 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.