Jan. 18 (UPI) -- In a rare public statement from Robert Mueller's office, the special counsel on Friday disputed a BuzzFeed report that President Donald Trump ordered his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress.
The article said Cohen was directed to lie about a potential real estate project in Russia. The report said Cohen was told to set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to get the tower project going.
BuzzFeed reported Cohen told Mueller's investigators he was told to lie, but the special counsel team denied it.
"BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony are not accurate," a statement from Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said.
BuzzFeed responded Friday, saying, "we are continuing to report and determine what the special counsel is disputing. We remain confident in the accuracy of our report."
"Out of respect for Mr. Mueller's and the Office of Special Counsel's investigation, Mr. Cohen declined to respond to the questions asked by the reporters and so do I," Davis said.
Friday, Democrats said the implications are serious if the report is true.
"The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date," California Rep. Adam Schiff, who chairs the House intelligence committee, said. "We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true."
Trump has maintained that he's had no business dealings with Russia. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that the allegations made in the BuzzFeed story are "categorically false."
Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying about the deal and is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia. He will testify before the House oversight committee Feb. 7 in connection with hush payments to an adult film star who said she had an affair with Trump.
The Democrats now have a majority in the House and have the ability to investigate the president.
"If the BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached," Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, tweeted.
"MORE evidence of collusion. If Trump directed his lawyer to lie, it was to conceal the underlying allegation from being exposed as true," Rep. Eric Walwell, D-Calif., added.
"If Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn't end his inquiry, but it's about time for him to show Congress his cards before it's too late for us to act," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said.
"I'm pretty sure if this story is true it's -- I'm going to be careful with my words here -- something that congress must investigate thoroughly," Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said.