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In Theory, Congress Now Has What It Needs to Impeach Trump

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | January 18, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | January 18, 2019 |


Buzzfeed, the website best known for churning out quizzes and inane lists (we were doing inane lists long before Buzzfeed ever existed, damnit!) is reporting that Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the President’s dealings with Russia and a potential Trump Tower there. Lists and quizzes notwithstanding, Buzzfeed has a crackerjack news division, and this is a solid scoop.

In fact, while Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly attacked Michael Cohen as a liar, the interesting thing here is that the Buzzfeed report is not predicated on Michael Cohen’s testimony.

The sources are “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter,” and the special counsel knew that Trump had directed Cohen to lie to Congress before they even asked Cohen, who only confirmed what Mueller already knew.

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.

That’s suborning perjury. Is that an impeachable offense? According to William Barr, Trump’s Attorney General nominee, it sure is:

In a memo drafted by Bill Barr and sent to Rod Rosenstein in June, William Barr also wrote, “[I]f a President knowingly…suborns perjury, or induces a witness to change testimony…then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction.”

Moreover, encouraging a witness to commit perjury was also part of the Articles of Impeachment against Bill Clinton, and there are 14 Republican Senators who are still in Congress who were part of Clinton’s impeachment. It was also part of the Articles of Impeachment drafted against Richard Nixon.

Seems significant.

There’s also more to Buzzfeed’s reporting than suborning perjury. Trump also encouraged Michael Cohen to meet with Vladimir Putin as part of an effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and Trump — and his children, Ivanka and Don Jr. — were regularly updated on the status of those negotiations. If Republicans in Congress refuse to impeach Trump, Mueller may be able to leverage criminal charges against Trump’s kids?

We’ll see. Of course, if true, this would be enough to sink any other Presidency, but as there is evidence that several Republicans are also in Russia’s pocket, it may be far more difficult to convince them to impeach. At the very least, however, it illustrates that Mueller is building a powerful case against the President.

Source: Buzzfeed

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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