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CNN: Rep. Quigley Joins CNN to Discuss Cohen’s Lies to Congress & Need to Bring Him Back Before HPSCI

Nov 30, 2018
In the News


BURNETT: Buzzfeed, citing two law enforcement sources, is reporting that Cohen discussed the idea directly with a representative of Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov. "Outfront” now, Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, your reaction to this, that one of the ideas to promote the Trump Tower was to offer Vladimir Putin the penthouse.

QUIGLEY: You know, it’s interesting, Mr. Sater called it a marketing ploy. In any city in the United States, it would be nothing short of a bribe. It is clearly bad enough that Mr. Cohen lied about the -- what they were doing in Russia, seeking the Trump Tower past January of 2016. It's worse if the President of the United States misled the American public and said he had no business interests, zero, in Russia. It's worse that they were even wooing each other, trying to help each other politically and financially during a political campaign, and this would even be the worst of all those things. It's unimaginable if true.

BURNETT: So, why do you think Michael Cohen lied to your committee? Just to be clear, it was your committee in front of which he testified, saying this all ended in January of 2016, which of course was a lie. He now says it was June. Why do you think he lied?

QUIGLEY: You know, it's hard to understand. I was a criminal defense attorney ten years, why do people lie? I can't understand why a man as smart as Mr. Cohen, an attorney, would lie and do so in such a fashion. This was a written statement, right? There's no question whether he misunderstood a question or something of that, you know, back and forth exchange orally. This is a written -- I guess the only way I could guess the answer to that is that it's a perverse sense of loyalty to a man he must have known shows absolutely no loyalty to anyone who has ever served him. He will dismiss them and has during the course of the last two years in his political world as President of the United States and in his personal world. If they're of no use to him, he discards them because they mean nothing to him.

BURNETT: Yeah, I mean, I could say, look, from many conversations with Michael Cohen after that time, I think he held out hopes that the President would repay his loyalty with some kind of a good position in the White House or something else. He really did. He held out that hope, and seemed confounded and humiliated that it did not pan out. I mean, if Cohen lied to you about this, Congressman, what else do you think he lied about? You're talking about a written statement, vetted, he had time to go through it. He lied about this. What else?

QUIGLEY: Well, I have a great desire to have Mr. Cohen come back to the committee. He has expressed a desire to come back and talk to us without any form of immunity. So just the top of my head, did you meet with Russians at any time during the course of the campaign and discuss the campaign, give an exchange of information as was talked about, for example, in Trump Tower, the sanctions that were imposed by the Obama administration. Those are all fair game. And any connection with the Russians and financial gain as it relates to, perhaps, Trump Tower or the money laundering issue that we're all too familiar with.

BURNETT: And has he -- when you say that he wants to come back, has he explicitly said that to you?

QUIGLEY: No. There was public reporting that he was willing to come back and talk to Congress without immunity. I think that was after his first plea deal and his willingness to volunteer and cooperate. We're now -- have heard in today's reporting, just the breadth and width of his cooperation with the Mueller investigation, It's incumbent upon us to make sure that we coordinate with the Special Counsel but given that, I think that he would offer us a wealth of information not directly related to all the things that the Mueller investigation is taking part in.

BURNETT: So, I want to ask you about a threat the President has put out via the interview with the "New York Post" that he did yesterday. He said, "If you play tough," meaning you Democrats when you take over the House, he would declassify FISA warrant applications and, he says, other documents from Bob Mueller's probe, which he says, quote, “they will see how devastating those pages are,” (i.e., the public), devastating to you, the Democrats. What do you say?

QUIGLEY: The President said similar silly things in the past. He has declassified documents. He's gone after the 702 process that's related to this. And nothing he has said has borne any truth. I think what the President has done is a major attack on the intelligence community and its independence, its ability to function, the Justice Department, and that's the damage we're going to have to recover from, from this time on. So, I have no fear whatsoever of information coming out that the President thinks will do us harm. There there's just nothing there. What I'm afraid of is continued damage to our intelligence communities' ability to keep us safe.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Congressman Quigley.

QUIGLEY: Thank you.