A member of the House Intelligence Committee has demanded that President Donald Trump resign or be impeached for committing the felony of suborning perjury when he directed Michael Cohen to lie before Congress.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), whose brother Julian is running for president, said that the new information about Trump’s alleged crimes, if proven to be true, makes him unfit to be president. The report concerning new evidence of Trump’s crimes first appeared in an article published last night on Buzzfeed News.
Writing on Twitter, Castro said:
“If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.”
If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019
Two federal law enforcement officials who were reportedly involved in an investigation into the matter told Buzzfeed that Donald Trump specifically directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress when he was testifying under oath about Trump connections to Russia. The lies told by Cohen were about the Trump Organization’s efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump also reportedly directed Cohen to visit Russia to begin negotiations about the Trump Tower construction project shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
Then-candidate Trump also reportedly directed Cohen to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the trip, Buzzfeed reported.
“Make it happen,” Trump allegedly told Cohen about the Trump Tower project.
Cohen pleaded guilty last fall to making false statements about the Trump Tower Moscow plans while testifying before two congressional intelligence committees.
He said he lied about his travel plans and how long the project was discussed with Trump Organization officials before the 2016 presidential election won by Trump.
Buzzfeed said that their confidential sources within law enforcement told them that there is documentary evidence that Trump also personally directed Cohen to lie to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team about the Moscow project.
Trump and Cohen’s efforts to obscure the truth were to help Trump win the presidential election by hiding his extensive involvement with and relationships with Putin and Russia.
Special Counsel Mueller has previously said that Cohen’s false claim that the project was scrapped by January of 2016 was an attempt to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”
“Individual 1” is widely known to be a reference to President Trump.
Rudy Giuliani, the president’s current attorney, reportedly dismissed the Buzzfeed News report in a statement to reporters after it was published.
“If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge,” Giuliani said.
The new report about Trump’s involvement in Cohen’s perjury crimes comes just a few weeks before Cohen is scheduled to testify before Congress again, at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on February 7.
As legal expert Laurence Tribe pointed out on Twitter, Trump is now being accused of a very serious felony:
“If this report is accurate, Trump committed subornation of perjury, punishable by five years imprisonment under 18 U.S. Code § 1622.”
If this report is accurate, Trump committed subornation of perjury, punishable by five years imprisonment under 18 U.S. Code § 1622. https://t.co/5uBydMX99s
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 18, 2019