Donald Trump has asked Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, to lie before a parliamentary committee about the planned construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow, says the news website BuzzFeed, which quotes federal agents involved in the ” Russian investigation “.
Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who oversees the investigation into Russia’s interferences in the 2016 US presidential election and suspicions of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign team, have ruled BuzzFeed’s information inaccurate.
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements made to the Special Prosecutor’s Office, documents and testimony obtained by this office as part of Michael Cohen’s testimony before Congress, is not accurate,” said Peter Friday evening. Carr, spokesman for Mueller.
Donald Trump welcomed Saturday this rectification. “I appreciate that the special prosecutor made a statement last night, I think it was very appropriate, I think BuzzFeed’s article is a shame for our country, it’s a shame for journalism.” he told the press.
In his statement, however, Peter Carr neither denied nor confirmed the news that Donald Trump had asked Michael Cohen to lie in Congress.
Earlier, the White House spokeswoman said the allegations were “absolutely false”. Rudy Giuliani, the current president’s lawyer, denied the information in the same terms.
In response to Mueller’s press release, Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, reaffirmed the truth of the article and the reliability of its sources, and invited the special prosecutor to clarify what he is challenging.
Adam Schiff, Democratic Chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives, has promised on Twitter that “the necessary will be (it) done to discover the truth.”
“The accusation that the President of the United States may have asked for perjury before our commission to try to stop the investigation and hide his trade relations with Russia is among the most serious to date” he wrote.
Jerrold Nadler, another Democrat elected, also announced on Twitter that the House Judiciary Committee would investigate. “To order a subordinate to lie before Congress is a federal crime,” he said.
Such a crime could justify the opening of a parliamentary procedure for dismissal of the president.
According to BuzzFeed, Donald Trump would have sought to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly before his election to advance the Trump Tower project in Moscow. “Take care of it,” he reportedly told Michael Cohen.
The latter, during his hearing in 2017 before the Congress, however, assured that the real estate project had been abandoned in January 2016.
Michael Cohen and his adviser Lanny Davis declined to comment on the BuzzFeed article.
The former lawyer of the president was sentenced in December to three years in prison for buying on behalf of Donald Trump the silence of two women who say they had a relationship with the businessman, in violation of the legislation on the campaign financing.
The lawyer also acknowledged Thursday that, at the request of the president, he made payments to a company in order to influence polls during the 2016 presidential campaign.