Trump Committed Obstruction Another Time and Must Be Removed Immediately

A report from Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier at BuzzFeed published last night details how Donald Trump committed obstruction on yet another occasion: Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen to Lie to Congress About the Moscow Tower Project.
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.

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.

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying about the deal in testimony and in a two-page statement to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Special counsel Robert Mueller noted that Cohen's false claim that the project ended in January 2016 was an attempt to "minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1" — widely understood to be Trump — "in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations."

Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump's involvement.

...This revelation is not the first evidence to suggest the president may have attempted to obstruct the FBI and special counsel investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

But Cohen's testimony marks a significant new frontier: It is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.
So, a couple of important things to note about this: If accurate, not only is Trump instructing Cohen to lie to Congress obstruction of justice, but it is also subornation of perjury, which is itself an illegal act.

Further, the leak about this is not from Trump's team, but from "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter." It's notable that the unleakable special counsel's investigation just leaked this giant piece of damning information about Trump.

No less on the same day that someone passed Trump information about Nancy Pelosi's travel plans that was sure to backfire — and did — and was a deeply unethical if not illegal disclosure. Which reeks of a set-up from inside his inner circle.

Trump is getting battered from all sides. The attacks are coming from new sources, and from closer and closer to him — and let us note that the federal investigators' leak also took a swipe at his kids.

All of this reaffirms my feeling that Trump is about to become a scapegoat for Republicans who want to exploit with surgical precision the authoritarian groundwork that Trump has laid — all under the mendacious auspices of rescuing us from Trump.

And if I am wrong, as I hope, and everything is as it is meant to seem, and Mueller is doing a straightforward investigation, then he clearly has more than enough to start making moves to hold Trump accountable, and many of the people around him, including Mike Pence. So he needs to move forward now, aggressively and urgently. It has already been far too long, and we cannot afford to wait a moment longer.

The president is holding the government hostage, in order to try to avoid accountability for breaking the law and subverting our democracy and being a traitor. He is willing to starve his own people, which is something that only the most brutal dictators in history have done.

Mueller has to wrap it up immediately, and, if he won't (and frankly, even if he will), Democrats need to start drawing up impeachment papers. The Trump administration must be removed from power. Now.

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