VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Donald Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. (AP)

Democrats are vowing to investigate whether U.S. President Donald Trump directed his 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 that extended into 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.” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the allegation “absolutely ridiculous.”

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.

READ MORE: Where the investigations related to President Trump stand

BuzzFeed, citing two unidentified law enforcement officials, said Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress and that Cohen regularly briefed Trump and his family on the Trump Tower project in Moscow — even as Trump said he had no business dealings with Russia. BuzzFeed said Cohen told Mueller that Trump personally instructed him to lie about the timing of the project in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.

BuzzFeed said Mueller’s investigators learned about Trump’s directive “through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.” The report says Cohen then acknowledged Trump’s instructions when he was interviewed by the Mueller team.

On Twitter, Trump charged that Cohen was “Lying to reduce his jail time!”

Giuliani noted that Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying and quoted federal prosecutors in New York who chastised him for a “pattern of lies and dishonesty over an extended period of time.” Mueller’s team, however, has called him a credible witness.

“Today’s claims are just more made-up lies born of Michael Cohen’s malice and desperation,” Giuliani said.

Lanny Davis, a Cohen adviser, declined to comment. On Friday, as photos surfaced of Cohen wearing a hospital ID bracelet and cradling a pillow with his right arm in a sling, Davis said Cohen had undergone minor shoulder surgery.

Though Republicans stayed mostly silent, two Democratic committee chairmen in the House said they will open inquiries.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Car crash causes traffic delays along Highway 97

An accident has been reported on Highway 97 and Leathead Road

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

A mother’s warning: Man follows Peachland teen to her home from Kelowna

The teen’s mother is warning others about the incident

Residents of Oliver OK with 9 per cent tax increase

The increase is a result of the cost of policing being turned over to the town

Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Regional district seeks $13 million to get rolling on Rail Trail

Federal grant would pay for a paved path from Sicamous to Armstrong

Cold War Cabaret offers song, slam poetry and sock puppets

Devon More returns to Shuswap with Berlin Waltz, March 16

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Shuswap athletes help Team BC to podium at Canada Winter Games

Speed-skater wins bronze, ringette player contributes to playoff victory

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Okanagan missionary helps feed Guatemalan children

Seeds to Harvest brings Gleaner’s food to those in need to relief efforts.

Most Read