Last night, BuzzFeed posted this report
“President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.
Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. ‘Make it happen,’ the sources said Trump told Cohen.”
The BuzzFeed story also says that Cohen confirmed this information to Mueller after
“the special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.“
The President of the United States directing someone to lie under oath is a crime. Period. But what did Rudy Giuliani tell The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman after the news broke?
“If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.”
Today Giuliani added in a statement,
“Any suggestion — from any source — that the President counseled Michael Cohen to lie is categorically false. Michael Cohen is a convicted criminal and a liar.”
If the BuzzFeed report is true then the entire Russia conversation changes. As Barr helpfully noted earlier this week, the President telling someone who works for him to lie to Congress about an ongoing investigation is obstruction of justice. And obstruction of justice is a crime.
This is BIG DEAL (you’ve heard that before, huh?) even in an investigation overflowing with big deals.
FYI, the first article of impeachment against then-President Richard Nixon was that he had obstructed justice by ordering others to lie.
(Photo, YouTube; via CNN)