Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

 House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) arrives for a Democratic caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington DC. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

To Get Beyond "If True" Caveat, Democrats Vow to Investigate Trump's "Potentially Impeachable Offense"

"We know that the President has engaged in a long pattern of obstruction. Directing a subordinate to lie to Congress is a federal crime."

Jake Johnson

In order to get beyond the "if true" caveat that followed Buzzfeed's explosive report that President Donald Trump personally instructed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, top Democrats on powerful congressional committees vowed to investigate the serious allegations in the story amid growing calls for impeachment proceedings.

"If this report is true, Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice—a felony and a potentially impeachable offense."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
Declaring in a tweet on Friday that "[d]irecting a subordinate to lie to Congress is a federal crime," Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)—chairman of the House Judiciary Committee—promised to use the resources at his committee's disposal to find out whether the reporting is accurate.

"We know that the president has engaged in a long pattern of obstruction," Nadler wrote. "The House Judiciary Committee's job is to get to the bottom of it, and we will do that work."

House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also vowed to launch an investigation into the claims in the Buzzfeed report, which the White House denied.

"The allegation that the president of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date," declared Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true."

According to Buzzfeed, which cited two anonymous law enforcement officials, Cohen told special counsel Robert Mueller that "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" in negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

While analysts approached Buzzfeed's report with caution given that it is based primarily on the claims of two unnamed officials, legal experts and progressive commentators argued that if the story is true, it is grounds for impeachment.

In a tweet on Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) applauded House Democrats for quickly promising to investigate the allegations in Buzzfeed's story.

"If this report is true, Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice—a felony and a potentially impeachable offense," Sanders wrote. "I am glad that the House will be investigating this serious issue."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'A Basic Human Right': Bowman, Markey Unveil Affordable Energy Bill

Sen. Ed Markey called the proposal "the ambitious and comprehensive legislation we need to help ensure the health and safety of American families and support a just transition away from fossil fuel consumption."

Julia Conley ·


Heavily Polluted Louisiana Community Asks EPA to Step In

"Louisiana has failed to protect fenceline communities, including St. John residents, from the harms of highly polluting facilities," said one local advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


500K Jobs Lost, Starvation Looms as US Holds Afghan Funds Hostage

Sen. Bernie Sanders urged the Biden administration "to immediately release billions in frozen Afghan government funds to help avert this crisis, and prevent the death of millions of people."

Brett Wilkins ·


Senate Panel Approves Antitrust Bill to Rein in Big Tech

"A bipartisan group of senators just stated with a clear voice that Big Tech is too powerful."

Jake Johnson ·


Jamaal Bowman Arrested Alongside Other Voting Rights Protesters

"In the tradition of the late Rep. John Lewis, Jamaal got himself into some good trouble."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo