Is Buzzfeed credible? The short answer is, “not usually.” They have a penchant for silly articles like 13 Potatoes That Look Like Channing Tatum and Which Ousted Arab Spring Ruler Are You? But they have been getting serious about real journalism, and more importantly, they’ve been spending serious cash to establish themselves as a major news outlet.
Their latest bombshell is almost certainly their biggest to date if it’s true.
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.
For nearly three years, since just after candidate Trump was locked in as the GOP nominee in July, 2016, mainstream media has been screaming about the end for Trump. Every news cycle featured a bombshell, tipping point, or the beginning of the end for Trump, as was hilariously mashed up last year in a video.
But this time, we may have finally seen the actual beginning of the end. If the Buzzfeed story is accurate and if Robert Mueller’s report substantiates these accusations, there’s almost no way around it. President Trump will face impeachment, indictment after his term, or both. Of course, that’s a really big “if.”
Buzzfeed claims their two sources have more that just Michael Cohen’s testimony to back up the charges. They have “internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.” If this is true and links the President directly, it’s pretty much game over.
There are three reasons I’m personally skeptical.
- Mueller’s strategy. There is no question Robert Mueller is a calculating investigator. He doesn’t do anything without a purpose, and there doesn’t appear to be any purpose for such a stinging leak that is unlikely to yield better fruit than what they already allegedly have on the President. Moreover, Mueller is a spotlight guy. He’d prefer the grand reveal when his report comes out to a Buzzfeed scoop in the middle of January. And if the two members of his team that leaked the information did so independently, then it calls into question the motivations of his team. Either way, this doesn’t fit.
- Steele Dossier. Buzzfeed is the organization that received wide rebukes from journalists on both the right and left when they released the unredacted Steele Dossier. It is uncorroborated to this day and offered nothing but tabloid substance to the conversation. Their justification for releasing it was since it was being circulated among those in the highest levels of government, the people had the right to know about it. But when even the NY Times and Washington Post condemn the action, you know they went too far with their brand of journalism.
- Nobody else has it. Exclusives are hard to come by for top notch news outlets, especially of this magnitude. For Buzzfeed to be the recipient of such riches while nobody else has it is far-fetched. If the members of the Mueller team who leaked the information wanted to go for maximum effect, they would have gone elsewhere. If they were getting paid, then they’re in big trouble. Again, this is very fishy.
Of course, there’s this…
Trump Dossier 2.0. It's like deja vu all over again. https://t.co/nbb8UlErae
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) January 18, 2019
If this is real, the President is in trouble. That’s a huge “if” when we consider the source. But if Buzzfeed is the publication that brings down the President, it may be a sign of the times. I have serious doubts, but we’ll find out soon enough.