Turley: Media's 'Disturbing' Reaction to BuzzFeed Report on Trump and Cohen Shows 'Initial Bias'
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said Monday that the media was more exposed than ever following the release of a disputed BuzzFeed News report that claimed President Trump directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress.
The piece cites two law enforcement officials who said Cohen acknowledged to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that Trump told him to lie to Congress about a potential real estate deal in Moscow.
He noted that Democrats castigated attorney general nominee Bill Barr early last week over his memo that expressed concern about the Mueller probe to top Justice Department officials, but by Friday called for Trump's impeachment if BuzzFeed's report was proven to be true.
"What I think it does show is that there is an initial bias in what goes into a lot of these stories," Turley said. "If [BuzzFeed] actually had two people associated with Mueller saying this, it was news. It was what the media did with the article that is so disturbing."
Mueller issued his first public statement in more than a year to repudiate the report, flatly asserting that BuzzFeed's story was "not accurate."
Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani moved the story forward Sunday, saying that it'd be "perfectly normal" if Trump spoke with Cohen ahead of Cohen's testimony before Congress.
.@RudyGiuliani: “As far as I know, President Trump did not have discussions … in which he told (Michael Cohen) or counseled him to lie. If he had any discussions with him, they'd be about the version of events that Michael Cohen gave them, which they all believed was true.” pic.twitter.com/1c1NBnrZ7c
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 20, 2019
Turley disagreed with Guiliani's point of view Monday, and said that if Trump and Cohen did speak, it's "begging" for an allegation like what BuzzFeed has asserted.
"The president should not have been sitting down with his lawyer to talk about testimony affecting him in front of Congress," he said.
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