We already know that Michael Cohen lied to Congress when he testified that all negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended by January 2016. In fact, negotiations continued at least through the summer of 2016, as President Trump himself has acknowledged. But did Cohen make up this lie all by himself in order to protect Trump? Today, BuzzFeed News says no. He lied because Trump told him to:
President Donald 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 involved in an investigation of the matter.
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. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.
….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.
Is it against the law to tell someone to lie to Congress? If I were Congress, I’d certainly think poorly of such things. This was part of the charges against Nixon during Watergate, wasn’t it? Conspiracy, suborning perjury, something like that.
I’ll let my betters weigh in before I say any more. But this report certainly kicks up the impeachment chatter a notch.