Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, warned Trump that if he pardons Manafort, the president will be obstructing justice.
Rep. Schiff said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
Paul Manafort‘s belated decision to plead guilty, admit the allegations against him, and agree to cooperate with prosecutors is a significant victory for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller not only secures another set of convictions against Trump’s campaign manager but the plea and cooperation agreement free up time for Mueller’s team to focus on other critical parts of the investigation.
Given that Manafort has been party to a joint defense agreement with Trump, held out for a pardon, and admits to conspiring to obstruct justice, the value of his cooperation remains to be seen. But Paul Manafort was involved in or had knowledge of key developments of the Trump campaign, including the Trump Tower meeting in which the campaign expected to receive dirt on Hillary Clinton. If he cooperates fully and truthfully on all matters within the scope of the Special Counsel’s investigation, Manafort may provide important information and insight into the Trump campaign’s links to and possible cooperation with Russia. I would also hope that his cooperation includes testifying before congressional committees.
The evidence presented by the Special Counsel’s office is overwhelming and should put to rest any idea that Manafort is even remotely deserving of a pardon. If the President moves to pardon Manafort or impede his cooperation in any way, it would constitute an attempt to obstruct justice. Mueller and his team continue to make progress and must be allowed to finish their investigation without interference by President Trump or his Republican allies in Congress.
Adam Schiff Could Be Running The Russia Investigation In A Few Months
Adam Schiff’s warning is not empty rhetoric. If Democrats take back the House in less than two months, Rep. Schiff will be running the House Russia investigation. Schiff was telling Trump that a pardon would equal obstruction of justice and put the president on the fast track to impeachment.
House Democrats are expected to wait on Mueller’s report before they decide on impeachment unless Trump does something extreme to trigger a constitutional crisis, like pardoning Paul Manafort.
If Trump goes there on the Manafort pardon, Democrats will be ready to act, and the result will be what the Trump family fears the most. Donald Trump will be impeached.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association