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A Close Look at Buzzfeed’s Russia Blockbuster

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Michael Cohen, personal lawyer for President-elect Donald Trump, walks through the lobby at Trump Tower, January 12, 2017 in New York City. Trump and his transition team are continuing the ... NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Michael Cohen, personal lawyer for President-elect Donald Trump, walks through the lobby at Trump Tower, January 12, 2017 in New York City. Trump and his transition team are continuing the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 18, 2019 2:26 a.m.

As you may have already seen, Buzzfeed published a major story tonight on the Russia probe: President Trump directly and repeatedly instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow deal.

I am going to share what I think are the key claims in the piece and some observations about the nature of the evidence. But before getting to those points an observation. The big news tonight is that President Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress. That’s a great scoop and it’s a big deal. But the issue isn’t really the lying. That flows almost inevitably from the original bad act. The President betrayed his country for the hope of a few hundred million dollars. He continues to do so today from the White House. This isn’t a crime that’s being uncovered. It’s one we’re still in the midst of. Whatever the criminal law makes of the lying, it is most important not because it is a crime in itself but because it is additional evidence of the conspiracy with Russia that propelled Trump into office and continues to this day.

Let’s go over the key points …

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