WASHINGTON -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller's spokesman issued a rare statement disputing BuzzFeed's report that President Donald Trump directed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. "BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this […]
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” Peter Carr, a Mueller spokesman, said Friday night in a statement. The BuzzFeed report, published Thursday night, set off criticism of Trump from congressional Democrats -- although most took care to say that the allegations were disturbing if true.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller's office on Friday issued a rare public statement disputing the accuracy of BuzzFeed News' report that said President Donald Trump's former attorney told Mueller that the president directed him to lie to Congress.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's office disputed a bombshell report from BuzzFeed News on Friday that alleged President Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office issued a statement late on Friday taking issue with a report in Buzzfeed that President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen said Trump told him to lie to Congress. “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller office, said in the statement.
US Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office issued a statement late on Friday taking issue with a report in Buzzfeed that President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen said Trump told him to lie to Congress. “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterisation of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller office, said in the statement. Immediately after the statement was issued, Trump retweeted a post that said: "Sadly so many will never get the memo that it was fake!" Buzzfeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal said: "We stand by our reporting, and we are working to determine what exactly the Special Counsel is disputing. Stay tuned." Leading Democrats had said earlier Friday that Donald Trump should be impeached if the Buzzfeed claims were proved to be true. The report alleged that Michael Cohen, the president's former longtime lawyer, was instructed to falsify his testimony to Congress on Mr Trump's orders. I told you all that the BuzzFeed story was nonsense. pic.twitter.com/gbTXPjpVtk— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) January 19, 2019 Joaquin Castro, a Democratic congressman from Texas said "President Trump must resign or be impeached" if the report was true. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, said that such a move would constitute the subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice - both of which are federal crimes. This is significant because such a crime would pave the way for Congress to launch articles of impeachment against the president. The allegation that the President of the United States 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. We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019 Democrats have hitherto been reluctant to discuss impeachment, which requires two thirds of the Senate to approve the motion, amid fears it will alienate some voters. However with a majority in the House of Representatives, a number of individuals have pledged to aggressively investigate Mr Trump, his close aides and family members. In his role heading up the committee, Mr Schiff has the power to call witnesses to testify before Congress and the authority to subpoena documents. "It is now alleged that the President of the United States directed Michael Cohen to lie under oath to Congress about these matters in an effort to impede the investigation and to cover up his business dealings with Russia," he said in a statement. "These allegations may prove unfounded, but, if true, they would constitute both the subornation of perjury as well as obstruction of justice." The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, also said directing a subordinate to lie to Congress constituted a federal crime. "The @HouseJudiciary Committee's job is to get to the bottom of it, and we will do that work," the congressman tweeted. The president hit back at the claims on Friday, suggesting Cohen was "lying to reduce his jail time" after pleading guilty to tax crimes, bank fraud and campaign violations. Kevin Corke, @FoxNews “Don’t forget, Michael Cohen has already been convicted of perjury and fraud, and as recently as this week, the Wall Street Journal has suggested that he may have stolen tens of thousands of dollars....” Lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019 Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, called the reports "categorically false". In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 to hide the fact that he was negotiating a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow on Mr Trump's behalf deep into the 2016 presidential campaign. The lawyer, who once said he would take a bullet for Mr Trump, admitted he discussed the project with the president about far more often than he had previously disclosed. He also said he briefed members of the Trump family on its progress. The charges against Cohen were brought by Robert Mueller, the special counsel heading up the federal investigation into potential Russian collusion and obstruction of justice. This latest report by Buzzfeed News claims Cohen told Mr Mueller that the president personally instructed him to lie about the timing of the project in order to obscure Mr Trump's involvement. According to BuzzFeed Mr Mueller's team discovered that Mr Trump ordered Cohen to lie through interviews with witnesses from the Trump Organisation as well as internal company emails, text messages and other documents - a claim the US Special Counsel's office have now denied. Donald Trump's former lawyer was sentenced to three years in prison last year Credit: Reuters The website said Cohen then confirmed it during his interviews with Mr Mueller's office. The reports have not been independently confirmed but Democratic congressmen have already pledge to investigate them. A spokesman for Cohen, Lanny Davis, declined to comment on the substance of the article, saying that Cohen would not answer questions out of respect for Mr Mueller's ongoing investigation. Cohen is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on February 7. Mr Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, scoffed at the report, highlighting that Cohen has already been convicted of lying. "If you believe Cohen I can get you a good all cash deal on the Brooklyn Bridge," he said in a statement. Following Mueller's statement, Giuliani tweeted: I commend Bob Mueller’s office for correcting the BuzzFeed false story that Pres. Trump encouraged Cohen to lie. I ask the press to take heed that their hysterical desire to destroy this President has gone too far. They pursued this without critical analysis all day. #FAKENEWS I commend Bob Mueller’s office for correcting the BuzzFeed false story that Pres. Trump encouraged Cohen to lie. I ask the press to take heed that their hysterical desire to destroy this President has gone too far. They pursued this without critical analysis all day. #FAKENEWS— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 19, 2019 It comes days after William Barr, Mr Trump's nominee for attorney general, said at his Senate confirmation hearing that a president or anyone else who directs a witness to lie is illegally obstructing an investigation. Eric Holder, who served as President Barack Obama's attorney general, said: "If true - and proof must be examined - Congress must begin impeachment proceedings and Barr must refer, at a minimum, the relevant portions of material discovered by Mueller. This is a potential inflection point".
President Donald Trump took a victory lap after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office issued a statement refuting aspects of BuzzFeed's article claiming that Trump had insructed attorney/fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project. Trump so far has confined himself to retweets by Trump supporters, mocking BuzzFeed. This morning's BuzzFeed article cited two law enforcement sources, but Mueller's office issued a statement Friday evening…
UPDATED: BuzzFeed has responded to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement: "We are continuing to report and determine what the special counsel is disputing. We remain confident in the accuracy of our report." PREVIOUSLY: Friday evening, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office issued a rare statement in response to BuzzFeed's blockbuster article alleging Donald Trump instructed his former fixer to lie to Congress. "BuzzFeed's descriptions of specific statements to the…
Despite Robert Mueller’s office disputing the accuracy of BuzzFeed’s Thursday story that said President Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project, BuzzFeed is standing by their reporting. BuzzFeed editor in chief, Ben Smith, told TheWrap in statement Friday evening: “We stand by the reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.” Thursday night, BuzzFeed reported that federal investigators had a “cache” of evidence that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about the timing of negotiations over a potential Trump Tower in Moscow. Also Read: Sarah Sanders Calls BuzzFeed Michael Cohen Report 'Categorically False' BuzzFeed’s story, written by Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold, sent shockwaves through Washington, as critics of the president and TV pundits argued that, if true, the findings by BuzzFeed could be grounds for Trump’s impeachment. According to the article, Cohen told investigators that Trump instructed him to lie to Congress that negotiations for the Moscow Tower ended months earlier than they actually did in an effort to downplay — Trump’s involvement in the deal. The report also stated that, according to sources, Mueller’s office had evidence in the form of emails, text messages and a “cache” of documents. Also Read: Michael Cohen Hired Tech Consultant to Rig Online Drudge, CNBC Polls for Trump (Report) Although Mueller’s office rarely comments on stories related to the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, earlier Friday, special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.” Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has dismissed the BuzzFeed report, calling it “categorically false.” Other critics questioned the unnamed sources and conflicting reports about whether the BuzzFeed reporters had seen the evidence or were relying on accounts from their sources, and Leopold’s past missteps were also brought back to light. Read original story BuzzFeed Stands by Bombshell Report After Robert Mueller’s Office Disputes It At TheWrap
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a report that President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney to lie to Congress (all times local):
The White House has denied allegations that Donald Trump ordered former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Law enforcement officials claimed Mr Trump had instructed Cohen to claim negotiations over the Russian project ended months earlier than they actually did, according to explosive new claims. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders vehemently denied the allegations, reported by Buzzfeed News, during a brief exchange with reporters on the White House driveway.
Robert Mueller has issued a rare statement dismissing a news report that claimed Michael Cohen had informed prosecutors Donald Trump had told him to lie to Congress. After Democrats seized on the report by BuzzFeed News and said they would open hearings into whether the president had indeed ordered his former personal lawyer to lie about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, the special prosecutor appeared to pour cold water on the story. “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterisation of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mr Mueller’s office, said in a statement emailed to the media on Friday evening.
President Donald Trump once succinctly summed up his two-part defense: "There is no collusion, and even if there was, it's not a crime."