This story broke after I had put the What Now?!? column to bed and, to be quite frank, I had put myself to bed. But this story cannot wait until tomorrow morning. The long ans short of it is Donald J. Trump personally ordered his agent and attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project and there is documentary or some other tangible physical proof (perhaps a recording) of this other than Michael Cohen’s word. That is the crime of suborning perjury, and constitutes obstruction of justice.
BuzzFeed News reports “President Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials.”
“Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations.”
“And even as Trump told the public he had no business deals with Russia, the sources said Trump and his children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., received regular, detailed updates about the real estate development from Cohen, whom they put in charge of the project.”
Key takeaway: “The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.”
“Democratic leaders reacted with fury and demanded an investigation late Thursday following a new report that President Trump personally directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the president’s push for a lucrative condo project in Moscow in the lead-up to the 2016 election,” the Washington Post reports.
“Democrats said that if the report is accurate, Trump must quickly be held to account for his role in the perjury, with some raising the specter of impeachment.”
Playbook: “Since the president canceled the Democratic trip to Afghanistan, all top key Democrats — people like Rep. Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi — are probably around to comment about this story.”
Cohen is slated to testify before the House Oversight Committee on February 7.