3 Stories You Should Read 2/28/2019: Benjamin Netanyahu, Republican Lawmakers, Cohen
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In the category of: Uh oh…
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted on bribery and breach of trust charges arising from three separate corruption investigations, pending a hearing, Israel’s attorney general announced Thursday evening.
The announcement, so close to April’s general election, marks a dramatic moment in Israeli politics and is a major blow to Netanyahu as he seeks a fifth term in office.
He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, denouncing the investigations as a media-led witch-hunt. In a prime time broadcast shortly after the announcement, Netanyahu blamed the left for pressuring Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit — a Netanyahu appointee — to issue an indictment.
In the category of: Of course they did
Two of President Donald Trump’s closest allies on the House Judiciary Committee referred Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to the Justice Department Thursday for possible criminal prosecution, claiming to have evidence that Cohen “committed perjury and knowingly made false statements” to lawmakers during his day-long testimony Wednesday.
The criminal referral — sent by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, and North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows — outlined several areas of testimony they urged the Justice Department to investigate, including Cohen’s claims Wednesday that he did not seek a job in the Trump White House, his denial of committing bank fraud, as well as his assertion that the did not have any reportable contracts with foreign entities.
In the category of: The eye of the storm
Cohen offered intriguing new information — but he clearly hasn’t made Mueller’s case.
During his House testimony Wednesday, Michael Cohen offered new details about several matters of importance to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — but said he knew of no direct evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
Cohen described Trump’s efforts to mislead the American public about Russia-related matters, and said that he has “suspicions” about whether collusion took place.