nearvideo President Trump denies that he’s trying to influence the widening of Cohen inquiry
President Trump’s attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, denied a New York Times report that Trump asked then-Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker whether U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman, a presidential ally, could be tasked with the investigation of the alleged misconduct on the part of Trump, the one-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
“Today, the President said he had no such conversation with the acting AG, and I believe that Mr. Whitaker issued a statement to achieve the same effect,” Giuliani said in a statement late on Tuesday. “The rest of the piece is just a repetition of earlier reflected disability theories. You all fail as an obstacle because, as the [Harvard Law] Professor [Alan] Dershowitz last book, and many other authorities it is clear that all of the alleged actions were discretionary within the president’s article II of the U.S. Constitution.”
The times report said that Whitaker told Trump that he could not make Berman is responsible for the Cohen inquiry, because he had already recused themselves from this matter. The paper claims that Trump “mad” Whitaker and “laments his inability to pull the lever to the justice Department, was the President of numerous legal problems.”
Trump denied the story at the White house on Tuesday afternoon, referring to the Times report as “fake news” and said he had a “very good” relationship with Whitaker, who was replaced last week by William Barr.
“I have a lot of respect for Mr. Whitaker. I think he’s done a great job,” Trump said. He said Whitaker was “a very fine man, and he should a lot of thanks from our nation.”
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec testimony Whitaker referred to the House Judiciary Committee reported earlier this month.
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“Under oath before the House Judiciary Committee, then-Acting Attorney General Whitaker stated that” at no time was asked to the White house, nor have I said any promises or obligations in respect of the special counsel’s investigation or other inquiry,'” Kupec. “Mr. Whitaker stands with his testimony.”
Berman was named acting U.S. attorney for the Southern district of New York in January, 2018 by the AG at the time, Jeff Sessions. Berman was appointed to the position for an indefinite period of time between the Jury, judge three months later.
Prosecutor’s office in the Southern district of say Trump directed Cohen illegally-hush money-to keep payments to two women-adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — in order, they quiet about alleged sexual encounters with them from more than a decade, and soon after he married his current wife Melania. Cohen is scheduled to report to prison to begin in the next month, a three-year sentence, after he’s Fund guilty last August to campaign, and other violations.
Cohen is also scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 28. His lawyer, Lanny Davis, has said that Cohen also plans to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Oversight Committee before the end of this month. In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller ongoing investigation on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
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Fox News’ John Roberts, and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.
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