Richard Burr reveals referrals made to the special prosecutor
The chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has revealed Friday that the panel has made criminal referrals to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, including one regarding former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
“We have made referrals to the special prosecutor,” North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr revealed at a University of Texas forum.
“One instance just highlighted of late, is that the special prosecutor is using the transcripts of interviews that we have used in our committee to indict somebody for lying to Congress.”
“It’s a loud message to everybody who’s interviewed by our committee … if you lie to us we’re going to go after you,” the Republican lawmaker added.
According to the Washington Times, Burr told an audience at the University of Texas that Cohen’s guilty plea was just one instance of the committee learning it had been lied to, and subsequently giving that information to Mr. Mueller and his team.
Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday and said in court documents that the president’s business empire was trying to secure a Trump organization deal with Russia during the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Cohen previously had denied any such business dealings during the campaign.
The president’s former lawyer and “fixer” also pleaded guilty earlier this year to making illegal campaign contributions for facilitating payouts to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Different from the Mueller Probe
Separate from the Mueller probe, which is investigating allegations of collusion between the Russia and members of the Trump campaign, Mr. Burr and Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner have been conducting their own probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mr. Burr stressed that their investigation, unlike Mr. Mueller‘s, isn’t centered on finding criminal wrongdoing and issuing indictments.
But he said the committee has on more than one occasion recommended prosecutions based on their interviews.
“We continually go back and look at the testimony we’ve been given, and we weigh it against any new information that might be out there that either a reporter has been able to [get] in a comment from an individual,” he said.
“We have shared, when permission has been given by those we interview, interview notes with the Department of Justice and specifically with the special prosecutor.”
“We have made referrals to the special prosecutor for prosecution,” he continued.
“In a lot of cases, those might be tied to lying to us.”
The Senate probe has been ongoing for nearly two years, and both Mr. Burr and Mr. Warner said Friday that much work remains to be done.