House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff presented all of the ways that members of President Donald Trumpâs inner circle colluded with the Russians, both during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, in a public hearing Thursday.
The hearing was held less than one week after special counsel Robert Mueller issued a report on potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The report has not yet been given to Congress, but Attorney General William Barr presented a four-page summary that noted that the special counsel does not plan to issue any further indictments.
Nevertheless, Schiff said Thursday that the evidence collected by the special counselâs office demonstrated that President Donald Trump and his associates had behaved in a way that was unethical, corrupt and unpatriotic.
âMy colleagues may think itâs OK that the Russians offered âdirtâ on a Democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the Russian governmentâs effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think thatâs OK,â Schiff said to Republican lawmakers during the hearing. âMy colleagues might think itâs OK that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the presidentâs son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help. No, instead that son said that he would âloveâ the help of the Russians.â
Schiff went on: âYou might think itâs OK that he took that meeting. You might think itâs OK that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience at running campaigns, took that meeting. You might think itâs OK that the presidentâs son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think itâs OK that they concealed it from the public.
"You might think itâs OK that their only disappointment from that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasnât better. You might think itâs OK that when it was discovered, a year later, they then lied about that meeting and said that it was about adoptions. You might think that itâs OK that it was reported that the president helped dictate that lie. You might think thatâs OK. I donât.
âYou might think itâs OK that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. You might think thatâs OK, I donât," Schiff continued, referring to reports that Manafort had offered briefings on the campaign to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
"You might think itâs OK that that campaign chairman offered polling data to someone linked to Russian intelligence. I donât think thatâs OK," Schiff added, referring to court documents demonstrating that Manafort had met Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected member of Russian intelligence, in Madrid and gave him polling data on the 2016 presidential election.
"You might think itâs OK that the president himself called on Russia to hack his opponentâs emails, if they were listening. You might think itâs OK that later that day the Russians attempted to hack a server affiliated with that campaign. I donât think thatâs OK," Schiff said.
"You might think itâs OK that the president's son-in-law attempted to establish a secret back channel of communication with the Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility. I donât think thatâs OK," he added.
"You might think itâs OK that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU [Russian military intelligence], through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks, that is considered a hostile intelligence agency," Schiff continued, referring to Trump associate Roger Stone's communications with a hacker of Democratic National Committee data named Guccifer, as well as WikiLeaks." You might think itâs OK that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say in terms of dirt on his opponent.
âYou might think itâs OK that the national security adviser designate secretly conferred with the Russian ambassador, undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think itâs OK that he lied about it to the FBI,â Schiff said, referring to Michael Flynn. âYou might say thatâs all OK, thatâs what you need to do to win. But I donât think itâs OK.â
Schiff added: "Now I have always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter. Whether the special counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime would be up to the special counsel, and I would accept his decision, and I do. But I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. And the day we do, think that's OK, is the day we look back and say that is the day that America lost its way."
The hearing grew heated shortly after Schiff's speech when the chairman refused to yield to allow Republicans to respond and shut off the microphone of one of the Republicans who was speaking. Nine Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have signed a letter calling on Schiff to resign and presented it at Thursdayâs hearing.
âWhile this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,â says Muellerâs report, according to one of the few direct quotations from the special counselâs report included in Barrâs summary
Hopefully more brave democrats
That's a nice list. Just a start, but a nice start.
Why is Trump being persecuted for winning an election?
It's not like Trump tells much of it.
Almost 3 years and 30 million was not enough?
How about the $52 million Starr probe?
Mueller's team uncovered criminal behavior and secured indictments and convictions. They also provided more details about Russian efforts to subvert the '16 election. And the results of the investigation were a gift to Trump. So what are you complaining about?
Russian collusion did not happen.
Why did Don Jr. go to the Trump Tower meeting to meet with Russians?
It just didn't rise to the level of conspiracy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on Friday that Attorney General William Barr should send Special Counsel Robert Muellerâs Russia report to Congress without redactions.
âAs I informed the Attorney General earlier this week, Congress requires the full and complete Mueller report,
without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence, by April 2.
That deadline still stands,â Nadler said in a statement after Barr said he would release the report by mid-April after making redactions.
Nadler says Mueller report should be released to Congress without redactions.
Quote:Why is Trump being persecuted for winning an election?
He isn't being "persecuted" for winning an election or for any other reason other than his (and his minions') suspicious conduct. Do you think Clinton was investigated because he won an election or do you accept that Congress and the Justice Department have the responsibility to determine whether or not a president has committed a crime when possible illegal conduct is suspected or alleged?