Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut was on CNN this morning and told host John Berman that he believes Adam Schiff has nothing to apologize for when it comes to accusing President Donald Trump of colluding with Russia.
He also said that Bill Barr’s summary of the Mueller report will not absolve Donald Trump of his sleazy behavior.
Like other of Schiff’s Democratic colleagues in the House, Himes was strongly supportive of what the House Intelligence Committee chairman is doing and saying about the president.
Himes said that even though Attorney General William Barr’s short summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s lengthy report did not establish that Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia, it certainly did not absolve the president (or his campaign) from their bad behavior that has greatly harmed American democracy.
The congressman told Berman:
“Maybe the president’s actions didn’t rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy… but it was a long list of inappropriate, unpatriotic activity that was evidence — real evidence — of something possibly going wrong”
“I’m willing to conceded today that perhaps it wasn’t a provable criminal conspiracy, but remember, none of these activities were appropriate.”
Himes also said that he is worried that Trump will use executive privilege “to avoid the release of information that will be inconvenient or embarrassing for this President” in the Mueller report. “I think that’s the fight we’re going to have.”
Rep. @jahimes says he worries that the White House will use executive privilege "to avoid the release of information that will be inconvenient or embarrassing for this President" in the Mueller report. "I think that's the fight we're going to have.” https://t.co/q0lkvj25cf pic.twitter.com/tkexwq2f2N
— New Day (@NewDay) March 29, 2019
On Thursday, Schiff went on a long rant against Trump and his campaign during a House Intelligence Committee meeting. In the meeting he said he was “not OK” with Trump campaign officials meeting with alleged Russian agents and encouraging them to leak damaging material that they had stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Himes said he believed those facts alone constituted a scandal, and that Mueller’s full report would demonstrate just how badly the Trump campaign had behaved.
Even Without Proof of a Crime, Mueller’s Report May Show Collusion With Russia
One thing that people often forget is that there is no specific federal crime called “collusion.” But Mueller’s report dealt only with crimes that could be proved in a court of law at a criminal trial.
This means that Mueller may have found — and probably did find — much evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, but NOT evidence of provable crimes.
A careful reading of Bill Barr’s short summary of Mueller’s long report shows that the attorney general also believes there was evidence of collusion, but not enough evidence to charge Trump or his campaign with crimes.
As more information comes out about Trump collusion (and hopefully as we eventually are allowed to see the full Mueller report) it will become crystal clear that Jim Himes and Adam Schiff are right.
As Himes said:
“When the evidence comes out, it will not look good for the president.”