Buzzfeed’s ‘bombshell’ gotcha on Trump missing one crucial detail according to its own reporter… evidence

Screengrab Michael Cohen

A bombshell report by Buzzfeed has finally delivered what the Trump Derangement crowd has been seeking all along — an impeachable offense.

Maybe.

With Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party in control the House, the impeachment of President Donald Trump is likely more a question of when not IF. And it’s now being furiously reported that Trump allegedly told his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

More from Buzzfeed:

President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

 

Citing the prerequisite anonymous sources, BuzzFeed News said Cohen told special counsel Robert Mueller the president personally instructed him to lie to obscure his involvement in the negotiations.

But Anthony Cormier, one of the two investigative reporters who co-authored the article, appeared on CNN on Thursday and admitted he had not seen the evidence underlying his bombshell report accusing Trump of the suborning of perjury — a criminal offense.

 

When asked by anchor Alisyn Camerota if he had seen the evidence that their two law enforcement sources claim they have seen, Cormier replied: “Not personally.”

Just as troubling is the other co-author of the report, Jason Leopold, has a “dubious past” of citing sources that don’t exist.

The Columbia Journalism Review tagged Leopold a “serial fabulist” in 2006 after he incorrectly reported that Karl Rove had been indicted.

“Leopold, you may recall, is the freelance reporter who was caught making stuff up in a 2002 Salon.com article, self-admittedly “getting it completely wrong” in pieces for Dow Jones, and had his own memoir canceled because of concerns over the accuracy of quotations,” wrote Paul McLeary, at the time.

Somewhat surprising, even the anchor of a network that all but dedicates 24/7 coverage to destroying Donald Trump mentioned this long, storied history of lying.

“He was in trouble for perhaps claiming to have sources he really didn’t have,” Camerota said. “His stories didn’t wash. Executive directors and editors have had to apologize after some of his big blockbuster stories.”

**Update: Leopold appeared on MSNBC later Friday morning to “clarify” his co-worker’s comments. As reported by by Mediaite:

Leopold gave an interview of his own to MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, and she asked him “how confident are you that [Mueller’s documents] actually exist?”

“I don’t think we’ve said we haven’t seen them,” said Leopold, “but I will say that I’m confident that they exist.”

Jackson kept pressing him to “clarify the status” of whether they’ve seen the evidence or not — citing Cormier’s earlier comments. Leopold continued to express confidence in his reporting, citing his extensive coverage of the Moscow Project.

“I’ll say we’ve seen documents and been briefed,” he said.

 

He didn’t explain why Cormier claimed not to have seen evidence, even though Leopold claims he had.

As history has already shown us these past two years, when a “bombshell report” on Trump emerges — “Russiagate stories” — the prudent response is to give it a day and see how things settle.

“Reminder: best practices for assessing Russiagate stories that have the entire media shrieking BOOM! in unison — wait 24 hours and see if the frenzy was warranted. Helpful guideline to follow ever since this tiresome saga began,” tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

And there have been a few duds, as The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reminds us.

“This is correct,” he said of Tracey’s take. “Russia “bombshells” that have been debunked: -CNN report on WikiLeaks/Don Jr. -ABC News report on Michael Flynn -Reuters/Bloomberg report on Deutsche Bank subpoena -McClatchy D.C. report on Cohen going to Prague (uncorroborated) All these dropped on Thurs/Fri.”

In the end, there’s plenty of speculation about what Muller’s final report will produce, but as Miller noted in a follow tweet, “Nobody knows anything.”

And while the anti-Trump cabal, right and left, are all but lining up outside the White House to watch the moving trucks arrive, rational folks are a little more skeptical.

Here’s a sampling of some of those responses from Twitter:

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