Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Monday that Congress should take a hard look at passing a new law that would make it a crime for presidential campaigns to seek foreign help.
In an interview with Chris Hayes, Rep. Schiff said even though the Trump campaign is still under investigation for working with Russia in 2016, they seem eager to seek foreign help again in 2020.
“Here we are, the investigation into what the Russians did and Trump and his campaign did is still not finished, and they’re starting the next effort to get foreign help,” the Democratic lawmaker said.
He added, “They’re going to continue seeking foreign help in the absence of it being clearly criminal activity.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) May 14, 2019
Rep. Schiff said:
I mean, it’s just staggering that they thought that this was somehow appropriate, okay, the new rules of the game. Yeah, you go and get foreign help. And the ridiculous distinction he was making is, no, I was trying to meddle into an investigation, not into a campaign. Well, the whole point of the investigation he was trying to get started was to hurt his political opponent, Trump’s political opponent, the one they apparently fear the most, Joe Biden. Here we are, the investigation into what the Russians did and Trump and his campaign did is still not finished, and they’re starting the next effort to get foreign help. So I’m not surprised that it got shut down. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that they were still at it, but it does mean that we have to look at this and think, okay, do we need to somehow change the laws to make this a crime, because apparently, they’re going to continue seeking foreign help in the absence of it being clearly criminal activity.
The Trump campaign is returning to the 2016 playbook
While Robert Mueller’s report did lay out the improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election cycle, the special counsel found that it did not rise to the level of a crime. This seems to have emboldened the Trump campaign to saddle up for another round of foreign contacts in 2020 meant to sway the election in their favor.
This time, the Trump campaign is hoping to target former vice president Joe Biden, who sits atop the Democratic primary field and looks to be the opponent feared most by the president and his supporters.
Ultimately, Trump is a man who doesn’t care whether something is inappropriate or unethical. Unless it’s labeled as a clear criminal violation, he has no problem doing it.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.