Co-author of article had previous incidents of false reporting…
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Democrats are rallying behind a new bombshell report by Buzzfeed News that claims President Donald Trump allegedly directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project.
But the report’s credibility is questionable, considering one of its lead investigative reporters, Jason Leopold, has had sourcing problems in the past and has not provided substantial evidence for the claims made against Trump.
James Cormier, the other author of the report, appeared on CNN’s “New Day” and admitted he has not seen the evidence underlying his report.
“Not personally,” Cormier said, when asked if he had direct evidence tying Trump to alleged perjury. “But the folks we have talked to — two officials we have spoken to are fully, 100 percent read into that aspect of the special counsel investigation,” he said, referring to Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into potential collusion between Trump and Russia.
“[Our sources] have been working the Trump Moscow tower portion of the investigation…before Mueller. So they had access to a number of different documents, 302 reports which are interview reports,” Cormier continued. “That stuff was compiled as they began to look at who the players were speaking with, how those negotiations went, who all from the Trump organization and outside the organization were involved in getting that tower set up.”
Cormier’s co-author, Leopold, however, came under scrutiny for faulty reporting for Salon in 2002 that led to his termination and the removal of his report.
And in 2006, Leopold falsely reported that Karl Rove had been indicted.
“He was in trouble for perhaps claiming to have sources he really didn’t have. His stories didn’t wash. Executive directors and editors have had to apologize after some of his big blockbuster stories,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota noted, before asking, “How can you be certain today?”
Cormier continued to defend his reporting, calling his sourcing “rock solid.”
President Trump tweeted his own reminder about Cohen’s credibility, following the report:
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
Despite the lack of evidence backing up the report, prominent Democrats have rallied behind it, calling for Trump’s resignation or impeachment.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said if the report is true, Mueller should give his report to Congress immediately so it can take action against Trump.
Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn’t end his inquiry, but it’s about time for him to show Congress his cards before it’s too late for us to act. https://t.co/ekG5VSBS8G
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 18, 2019
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., also called for Trump’s impeachment, accusing the president of “high crimes.
Based on the Buzzfeed report and numerous other articles showing @realDonaldTrump committed Obstruction of Justice and other possible felonies, it is time for the House Judiciary Committee to start holding hearings to establish a record of whether @POTUS committed high crimes.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 18, 2019
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Cal., said congressional Democrats will do whatever it takes to find out whether the allegations against Trump are true.
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. We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019