Late Thursday night BuzzFeed released a bombshell story that currently has both Twitter and the president melting down.
The report claims that Trump’s business ties with Russia relating to the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow went on much longer than he has maintained and, most damningly, that Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his ongoing Russia contacts.
Predictably Trump lashed out on Twitter quoting Fox News to say that Cohen was at fault for everything and asserting that Cohen is now making things up to reduce his three-year prison sentence, adding:
“Lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!”
Kevin Corke, @FoxNews “Don’t forget, Michael Cohen has already been convicted of perjury and fraud, and as recently as this week, the Wall Street Journal has suggested that he may have stolen tens of thousands of dollars....” Lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
According to the BuzzFeed reporters who broke the story they are very confident in their sources (which probably aren’t Cohen to begin with).
“We have seen documents. We have been briefed on documents. We are very confident in our reporting," BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold, who co-wrote bombshell new report, says. pic.twitter.com/5RXOx8rvo0— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 18, 2019
Keep in mind, Cohen himself is not the source for the Buzzfeed story. There are two others. Also there are, uh, documents:https://t.co/bgGOmUdYe3— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 18, 2019
A White House spokesperson would not deny the BuzzFeed report when asked directly by Fox News.
when asked directly White House press secretary Hogan Gidley refuses three times to say whether the Buzzfeed report is true or false.pic.twitter.com/trP7ZlpolN— Alex Thomas (@AlexThomasDC) January 18, 2019
Representative Ted Lieu, of California, suggested that Trump’s tweet itself may constitute a felony, to say nothing of the actual obstruction of justice reported by BuzzFeed, presumably because it could be read as an attempt to intimidate Cohen.
This tweet by @realDonaldTrump may be a felony.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 18, 2019
18 U.S.C. § 1512(b):
"Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens ... or attempts to do so ... with intent to ... influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person ...." is guilty of a felony.#FridayThoughts https://t.co/MDK6Z50WmW
Lieu followed up with another tweet explaining his reasoning.
As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that how a target responds to allegations is something we watch closely.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 18, 2019
Does @realDonaldTrump deny the Buzzfeed story alleging he told Cohen to lie to Congress (a felony)? No.
Instead, he threatens Cohen (which could also be a felony). https://t.co/9ndYCjs8d8
It is a felony. Impeachment proceedings need to come to the floor. Trump had no business in the Oval Office. Can we please give him what he wants...steel slats surrounding him.— Denise Johnson (@dm82johnson) January 18, 2019
Considering every day brings a fresh new hell – like yesterday’s news that Cohen paid for a Twitter account to be created that would call him handsome and cool – it’s impossible to know where this will all lead.
Nevertheless folks on Twitter were feeling hopeful after the bombshell BuzzFeed report. They openly mocked Trump about it and #PresidentPelosi was soon trending among those who believe that if Trump goes down he’ll take Pence with him, leaving Pelosi third in line for the throne, as it were.
We’re watching Jared’s father-in-law right now.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) January 18, 2019
Excuse me while I daydream that the house moves forward with impeachment, the Senate grows a spine, Trump whines and resigns, Pence goes down, and we're left with... President Pelosi. ? #TrumpTowerMoscow #PresidentPelosi pic.twitter.com/EB5CrLTeHp— Farrah Alexander (@AuthorFarrah) January 18, 2019
Now everyone stay calm, stay tuned, and let the soothing words of Dan Rather wash over you.
As they say: Tomorrow will be worse.
If true, the Buzzfeed story is a political earthquake. Caution: we really know little; Mueller knows much. Time to be steady, let facts lead us to truth. But at almost every turn in this national nightmare, implausible has become plausable. The walls do appear to be closing in.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 18, 2019
Image Credit: Michael Vadon