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Transcript

00:00:00
>> Democrats in the US House of Representatives promised to investigate a report that President Donald Trump directed his personal lawyer to lie to Congress. Buzzfeed News cited unnamed law enforcement sources in the report, which claims that Trump instructed Cohen to lie to a Congressional committee about a business deal in Moscow.
00:00:18
Reuters has not independently verified the news story. But with multiple investigations swirling around the president for everything from conspiracy to breaking campaign finance laws. Reuters legal correspondent, Jan Wolfe, says that if the Buzzfeed report is true, it would suggest a singular, and inarguably serious criminal act.>> Unlike some of the other allegations against the president, this is sort of a very classic crime.
00:00:42
When you ask whether the president committed obstruction of justice by, say, firing the FBI director, that's a complicated Constitutional question. Because in normal circumstances the president can fire the FBI director. When you ask whether President Trump committed a campaign finance violation by making hush money payments to women, that's kind of a creative legal theory.
00:01:04
Directing your personal lawyer to lie under oath to Congress, that's sort of a classic crime, that's very difficult to brush aside. I think that's why this report, if true, is such a big deal.>> Sarah, did the president direct Michael Cohen to lie to Congress?>> Look, that's absolutely ridiculous.
00:01:22
I think that the president's outside counsel addressed this best and said in a statement earlier today that it's categorically false.>> Trump in a tweet on Friday said Cohen was lying in order to get less prison time. Cohen is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
00:01:41
And whether Trump or members of his campaign conspired with Moscow to help win the race. Buzzfeed reported Mueller found out about Trump's instruction to Cohen through internal Trump organization emails, witness interviews, text messages and other documents. The site said Cohen told prosecutors about the directive to lie in an interview.
00:01:58
>> The crucial question here is, well, what proof is there that the special counsel has that the President directed Cohen to lie? Do we just have Cohen's word, because then it's Cohen's word against the president. And however you feel about Michael Cohen, you have to acknowledge that he's under tremendous pressure from prosecutors.
00:02:16
He has lied previously, and his credibility has been undermined by those actions.>> Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Moscow deal in November. He was sentenced to three years in prison. Donald Trump denies seeking help from Moscow to win the White House and has repeatedly called the Mueller probe a witch hunt.
00:02:35
In a tweet last month he called Cohen a rat for cooperating with the investigation.