Democrats: This New Report on Trump One of the Worst Yet

BuzzFeed says president ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2019 6:09 AM CST
Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building in New York in this December 2018 photo.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – Michael Cohen has admitted that he lied to Congress about Donald Trump's ambition to build a tower in Russia. But a new report from BuzzFeed adds a wrinkle that has bombshell implications if true. The report, based on two anonymous law enforcement sources, alleges that Trump, as president, ordered Cohen to lie in his testimony. The sources say that Cohen told Robert Mueller of his former boss' order to deceive Congress, and that Mueller corroborated the allegation through interviews with witnesses and through emails and texts from the Trump Organization. This, writes Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, is "the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia." The president's Democratic critics in Congress suggest this is one of the worst allegations yet against Trump, reports the Washington Post.

That Trump "may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date," tweeted Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee. And from Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii: "I mean everything feels like a bombshell and we are all numb but I'm pretty sure if this story is true it's—I'm going to be careful with my words here—something that congress must investigate thoroughly." Rudy Giuliani responded by saying Cohen can't be trusted. When he testified in 2017, Cohen told Congress the tower negotiations ended in January 2016, but they actually continued into June, per BuzzFeed. The story alleges Trump ordered Cohen to lie about when the talks ended. It also says Trump and his oldest children received updates on the talks through the 2016 campaign. (Read more Michael Cohen stories.)

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