House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday he will “absolutely” investigate allegations made in a controversial BuzzFeed article even though the report has been directly disputed by the special counsel’s office.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked whether he would investigate allegations laid out in a BuzzFeed article published Thursday.
Schiff says Mueller's office may have disputed BuzzFeed report because it wants to use Michael Cohen as witness for more prosecutions, and "wanted to make sure that the public didn't have the perception that he was saying more than he was saying, at least to the special counsel" pic.twitter.com/VqkmBY5Zkd
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2019
“Congress has a fundamental interest in two things. First, getting to the bottom of why this witness came before us and lied, and who else was knowledgeable that this was a lie,” the California Democrat added.
BuzzFeed reported former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told the special counsel’s office President Donald Trump instructed him to lie to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The website also reported documents and witness testimony would corroborate Cohen’s statements to prosecutors.
Schiff and other Democrats immediately pounced on the report, calling for an investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice or suborned perjury by instructing Cohen to lie to Congress.
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
But in a rare move, the special counsel issued an on-the-record statement disputing the key allegations made in the BuzzFeed story.
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller, said in a statement Friday night.
Schiff said he assumed the Mueller statement was prompted by the reaction to the BuzzFeed story.
“Also it may have to do with the special counsel wanting to use Michael Cohen as a witness in further prosecutions and wanting to make sure that the public didn’t have the perception he was saying more than he was saying, at least to the special counsel,” Schiff said.