Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has been more vocal lately in his criticisms of President Trump, calling out the president for saying the Russia investigation is “phony” and also blaming him for higher gas prices.
After Trump tweeted that the Mueller probe is a “phony Russia Collusion Witch Hunt” Schumer responded very quickly, also on Twitter. The Senate Majority Leader wrote:
“I hate repeating myself Mr. President, but let me remind you again: Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has either indicted or secured guilty pleas from 19 people and three companies — that we know of.”
I hate repeating myself Mr. President, but let me remind you again: Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has either indicted or secured guilty pleas from 19 people and three companies — that we know of. https://t.co/OOb5mfy1dR
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 27, 2018
It is important that Schumer has stepped up to defend Mueller who has done an incredible job of getting guilty pleas and indictments, even as he is being harshly attacked by Trump and his allies.
Here is the rundown of what Mueller has accomplished so far, and why Schumer called Trump out for saying the investigation is “phony:”
- Three Trump campaign staffers or officials have pleaded guilty to charges in the probe, Mike Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Richard Gates.
- Two other people have also pleaded guilty to crimes: Lawyer Alex van der Zwaan (for perjury) and a California man, Richard Pinedo, who pleaded guilty to identity fraud for selling bank account numbers.
- Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted on nearly 20 criminal counts.
- 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations have also been indicted for allegedly working to interfere in the 2016 election.
Schumer and other Senate Democrats have also been saying the president’s policies have caused increases in gas prices. Goldman Sachs senior economist Daan Struyven’s recently said that high gas prices “should roughly cancel out the 2018 consumption boost from tax cuts and is particularly large on the lower end of the income distribution.”
In response, Schumer said that Trump was “missing in action” when it came to fixing rising gasoline prices. He recently issued the following statement:
“President Trump and his administration are clearly more committed to helping pad the pockets of corporate executives and wealthy shareholders than helping middle-class families. It is time for this president to stand up to OPEC on behalf of the forgotten man and woman he promised to remember and do what is necessary to lower gas prices.”
Schumer also motivated Senate Democrats to send Trump a letter demanding he take action on gas prices, and that he pressure allies such as Saudi Arabia to prevail upon OPEC to keep prices down.
Public Citizen, a liberal consumer advocacy group said that “Trump’s policies are costing the American families he pledged to protect. We know the industry is driving this policy. Trump could take steps to alleviate the strain on Americans’ wallets, but he is more interested in catering to industry demands.”
It is good to see Chuck Schumer standing up to the president at this crucial time, just five months before the midterm elections. If he wants to become Senate Majority Leader he will need to do more than he is done to help his fellow Democrats win elections, and his recent statements are a good start.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.