Congress to probe report about Trump, Cohen Russian deal cover-up
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are vowing to investigate whether President Donald Trump directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate project, calling that possibility a “concern of the greatest magnitude.”
Trump’s current lawyer said the allegations sparking the inquiry are “categorically false.”
Any evidence that Trump directed a witness to lie to investigators would place him in the greatest political and legal jeopardy yet and confront him with allegations of the sort that led to the departure of one president and the impeachment of another.
At issue is a report by BuzzFeed News that Trump told Cohen to lie about negotiations over the Moscow project during the 2016 campaign.
The Associated Press has not independently confirmed the report.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement Friday that “any suggestion — from any source — that the President counselled Michael Cohen to lie is categorically false.”
The report comes as House Democrats have promised a thorough look into Trump’s ties to Russia, and as special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign.
Though his supporters have said Trump cannot be investigated for actions the Constitution permits him to take, even the president’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, said at his confirmation hearing this week that a president or anyone else who instructs a witness to lie or change his testimony commits illegal obstruction of justice.