Democrats seize a bomb reported by The New York Times as further evidence that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump offers Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at MJ. McCabe says: "It's possible" Trump is an asset for Russia McCabe: Trump "undermines the role of law enforcement" may have sought to interfere with justice in investigations of his campaign and administration.
The Times reported on Tuesday that the president had asked Attorney General of the time, Matthew Whitaker, to entrust US prosecutor Geoffrey Berman with responsibility for the investigation of Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen. . Cohen pleaded guilty last year to bank fraud, tax evasion and payment for silencing women alleging that they had had dealings with Trump.
Berman, a Trump ally who had donated to his 2016 campaign, had objected, and Whitaker did not follow through on Trump's request, according to the report – which Trump denied.
Democrats claim that it is only the latest example of Trump 's attempts to influence an investigation by influencing the investigator.
"Yes [the Times report is] That's right, I can not understand what other motive might be to give Mr. Berman responsibility for these investigations other than to help guide the prosecution in a more favorable manner to Mr. Trump, "Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiIt's time to end all upcoming government closures Democratic government focuses on conflict between Mnuchin House Treasury party and government after sanctions briefing MORE (D-Ill.) Said to the hill.
"Essentially, it's whether you believe he wanted such a thing to defend the interests of justice or his own interests, and … considering everything we've seen, I do not think that asks for a leap forward. I am sure he would have done it to defend his own interests, "said Krishnamoorthi, a member of the House's House oversight and reform and intelligence committees.
Other Democrats described a series of actions that they deemed inappropriate.
"I think if you simply follow the number of incidents and evidence presented regarding the President, the investigation by Russia and the investigation conducted in the Southern District of New York, among others, I think this clearly shows that the president tried to use his influence and / or his relationship to really interfere in the investigation, "said Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsA year since Parkland: we have a solution Whitaker tries to convince the legislators of the Chamber of Deputies Legislators of the House table a bipartite bill to fight against acts of mass violence MORE (D-Fla.).
Demings, a former law enforcement officer, said Trump's decision to call on Whitaker, considered a Trump loyalist, to replace the former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump Proposes Jeffrey Rosen To Replace Rosenstein At MJ McCabe Said He Was Interviewed By Mueller CNN Hires Former DOJ Spokesperson Under Sessions As Editor Of The 2020 Campaign PLUS as an example in which he seemed to put his thumb on the surveys.
Other Democrats have emphasized the president's decision to sack the FBI director. James ComeyJames Brien ComeyMcCabe: "It's possible" Trump is an asset for Russia McCabe: Trump "undermines the role of the police" Trump has publicly criticized more than 1,100 investigations conducted by Russia: NY Times in may 2017.
"If this troubling New York Times report is correct, the US president then obstructed justice," said the president. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellCuomo Will Meet Trump Over The Salt Deduction Ceiling The Dems Advocate For Trump On The Money Tax Returns: Lawmakers Conclude Border Agreement | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi will not meet before the trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for a MORE testimony (D-N.J.) Said in a statement Tuesday.
The White House denied that Trump sought to entrust Berman with responsibility for the Cohen investigation.
"I do not know who gave you that," Trump told the Oval Office press, calling the story "more fake news".
Trump went further on Wednesday, decrying the New York Times as "a real enemy of the people" and calling his reports "fake".
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said in a statement that the White House had not asked Whitaker to interfere in the investigations, citing his testimony before Congress earlier this month in which he had clashed with the Democrats of the House.
"Under the oath of the House Judiciary Committee, Acting Attorney General, Whitaker, stated that" at no time did the White House request or make any promises or pledges regarding the special attorney's investigation or any other investigation, "said spokeswoman Kerri Kupec. I said. "Mr. Whitaker stands by his testimony."
Demings, who said Whitaker gave "inappropriate or incomplete" responses when he appeared at Capitol Hill, described his testimony as "pitiful" and "combative".
The representative of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Asked Whitaker to clarify his testimony.
"Although the Committee appreciates your decision to appear, members on both sides found that many of your responses were unsatisfactory, incomplete or contradicted by other evidence," he said in a statement. last week.
According to Demings, whether Whitaker appears or not, "remains to be seen."
Republicans say that there is another urgent matter that should be examined: whether senior officials of the FBI and the DOJ have seriously considered invoking the 25th amendment to revoke the president .
In particular, Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen Collins: Jewish rights group asks Omar to apologize after "surprisingly anti-Semitic" tweet MORE (R-Ga.), Senior House Judiciary Committee Leader, and Other Republicans Say They Want to Hear Former Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeTrump offers Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein with MJ McCabe: "It's possible" Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump "undermines the role of law enforcement" and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinTrump offers Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein with MJ McCabe: "It's possible" Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump "undermines the role of law enforcement" under oath.
McCabe, who is touring cable TV to promote his new book, has publicly stated in recent days that Rosenstein had met with other senior officials to discuss the invocation of the 25th amendment after the president's dismissal Comey.
"What is important to note here is that there are legitimate concerns about facts that we believe have been among the main law enforcement officials within the DOJ and the FBI," he said. said a Republican assistant in the Judiciary Committee of the House. "The FBI was worried enough to dismiss McCabe and Strzok for their behavior – these decisions were not made by the White House. Americans expect Congress to oversee the Department of Justice, and it is clear that the DOJ needs this responsibility at the moment. The assistant was referring to Peter Strzok, a former FBI agent who had been fired for writing anti-Trump text messages.
Other Democrats have suggested that Whitaker's subsequent testimony is only the first step in examining the statements made in the Times report.
"I think we will certainly need to come back to Mr. Whitaker, summon him and lobby to find out exactly what the chair was doing and add to the list of items to consider if the rule of the law will be held in our country ", Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDemocratic Donors Blocked In The Shopping Phase Of The Primary Five Conclusions To Be Taken From The Hearing At The Flamey House Of AG For The Republican High Attorney In Swalwell: "Stop Running For The Presidency" ############################################################################## AFTER (D-Calif.), A member of the Intelligence and Judiciary panels, told The Hill.