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

Ponoka man attacked by dogs issues plea to town council

Troubles with bylaw and handling of court case prompts presentation to council

Concerns over town expressed to Ponoka County council

Resident warns county council in collaboration discussions with Town of Ponoka, council notes its own concerns

Bashaw peewee club’s season comes to an abrupt end

Players decide not to go into playoffs without one of their teammates

Ponoka County resident wants $62,000 in lease revenue

County approves revenue to landowner going forward, legal review to look at retroactive funds

Ponoka County receives letter of intent related to livestock operations

The Ponoka Right to Farm Society intends to submit claim through Court of Queens Bench

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Shots fired in Maskwacis home invasion

Maskwacis RCMP are searching for three suspects in a home invasion (with photos)

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Crude-by-rail shipments set new record in December despite lower price discounts

Canada exported nearly 354,000 barrels per day of oil, up seven per cent from November

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Most Read