In the wake of a bombshell report that President Trump instructed his former fixer to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate project, House Democrats vowed Friday to investigate the unprecedented allegations "of the greatest magnitude."
"We will do what's necessary," pledged House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Friday.
President Trump's legal team called the report "categorically false," the president himself accusing Cohen of lying "to reduce his jail time." But the White House denials did little to assuage Democrats, some who fear President Trump could move to undermine an investigation he has long labeled a "witch hunt," despite attorney general nominee William Barr's assurances this week to protect the probe.
During his testimony Tuesday, Barr said it was unlikely he'd release special counsel Robert Mueller's full report to the public. The possibility has already motivated House Democrats to redouble their investigative efforts.
Also Friday, President Trump declared that he would be returning for a second time to the nuclear negotiating table next month, in a bid to get tangible results from his previous meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The sequel summit, announced after President Trump met at the White House Friday with an emissary from the regime, could be a coup for his foreign policy agenda after Washington's skeptical reaction to the abrupt Syria pullout.
On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi canceled plans to visit American troops in Afghanistan, claiming President Trump created a security risk by publicly disclosing a trip he labeled a "public relations event."
President Trump had denied lawmakers use of military aircraft to visit the conflict zone on Thursday, saying that the delegation had the "prerogative" to fly commercial instead. The president cited the partial government shutdown for the move, adding that, "during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me."
But members of Congress from both parties decried the move, one day after Pelosi called on the president to reschedule his State of the Union address until after the shutdown. "One sophomoric response does not deserve another," tweeted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The tit-for-tat capped a bleak fourth week of shuttered government, now by far the longest in American history. Leaders of both parties insist their members are stubbornly unified, as some 800,000 federal employees remain unpaid.
The Trump administration moved this week to recall some federal workers back to work without pay, in a bid to blunt the pain of incapacitated agencies and programs. But carefully rationed funds are drying up for more of the federal government, with even the nation's court system set to grind to a halt on all but the most critical cases.
And with the Iowa caucus little more than a year away, the 2020 Democratic presidential field widened over the past week with more high-profile entrants, including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. The candidates round out an already historic number of women in the running, with still more expected to enter the race for their party's nomination.
"There's not a 'women's lane," said one Emily's List executive. "Having multiple women means that hopefully they will not only be judged by their gender, so we can talk about the candidates."
In his first televised interview since departing the Trump administration, former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) will sit down with us.
We'll interview House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff). The California Democrat was among the members that had been set to depart for Afghanistan and Brussels.
We'll hear also from Sen. John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy). The Louisiana Republican is a key GOP voice on the Senate's appropriations and judiciary committees.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand), D-N.Y., is the latest to throw their hat into the 2020 ring. We'll question her.
We'll talk with Jason Rezaian (@jrezaian) of The Washington Post about his new book "Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison."
And as always, we'll seek some perspective with our panel:
- Molly Ball (@mollyesque) of Time magazine
- Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) of the National Review, Bloomberg Opinion, American Enterprise Institute, and a CBS News Contributor
- Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie), a CBS News Political Analyst, soon also of The New York Times
- David Sanger (@SangerNYT) of The New York Times
Don't miss "Face the Nation" this Sunday! Click here for your local listings.