Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office on Friday made an announcement where they dispute a news report by BuzzFeed that claimed President Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie about the timing of discussions over a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow, Fox News informed.
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office.
The report sparked great interest in Democrats and they called for renewed probes and even suggested the allegations might be a case for impeachment.
The editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed issued a tweet after the release of the announcement.
“In response to the statement tonight from the Special Counsel’s spokesman: We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.”
The statement also mentioned an earlier tweet from the Buzzfeed PR Twitter account, which said that the publication “stands by this story 100%.”
“Remember it was Buzzfeed that released the totally discredited ‘Dossier,’ paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats (as opposition research), on which the entire Russian probe is based,” Trump said late Friday night. “A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!”
In their report, Buzzfeed cited two unnamed federal law enforcement officials involved in the probe who stated that Cohen acknowledged to Mueller’s team that he was directed by Trump in 2017 to lie to Congress about the now-abandoned real estate agreement for the construction of Trump Tower in Russia.
The report, which was not been confirmed by Fox News, was immediately dismissed by President Trump’s legal team.
“Any suggestion – from any source – that the president counseled Michael Cohen to lie is categorically false. Michael Cohen is a convicted criminal and a liar,” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said. “… Today’s claims are just more made-up lies born of Michael Cohen’s malice and desperation, in an effort to reduce his sentence.”
The BuzzFeed report claimed Trump directed Cohen to lie in his congressional testimony, though according to court documents and the statements Cohen made publicly, he has acknowledged that his actions were taken out of “loyalty” to the President.
In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump real estate project in Russia as part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.