Despite attempts to suggest that Robert Mueller‘s decision not to seek further indictments means that Donald Trump is cleared of “criminal collusion,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler says that there was, in fact, collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
On Sunday morning’s edition of CNN’s State of the Union, host Dana Bash joined Fox News anchor Chris Wallace in trying to get Nadler to concede that Trump is in the clear for collusion, at least criminally. But Nadler pushed back on both the premise that Trump is in the clear, and that there was no collusion.
“First, on our reporting that there will be no further indictments in the Mueller probe, that means in the end, no member of the Trump campaign was charged with conspiring with the Russian government to influence the election,” Bash said, and asked “Do you accept that no member of the Trump team engaged in that kind of criminal conspiracy with Russia?”
“Well, I don’t know,” Nadler said. “First of all, we don’t know what indictments are forthcoming from other investigations that have been spun out by the special prosecutor to the Southern District of New York or the Eastern District of Virginia.”
Nadler went on to add that “Obviously, we know there was some collusion. We know the president’s son and campaign manager were involved in a meeting with the Russians to receive stolen — what they thought was to receive stolen information — information stolen by the Russians from the Democratic National Committee as part of the Russian government’s attempt to help Trump in the election. That’s the way the e-mail inviting them to the meeting put it.”
“But none of what you just said has risen to the level of criminal indictment by the special counsel,” Bash noted.
“No, it hasn’t,” Nadler said, but added “As far as we know. But we know there was collusion. Why there’s been no indictments, we don’t know.”
Nadler also noted Trump’s attempt to end the investigation of Michael Flynn, his Russia-related firing of James Comey, his participation in covering up the purpose of the Trump Tower meeting, and his relentless attacks on the investigation.
“What you are describing is evidence to back up what you said before, that you believe the president has obstructed justice,” Bash said. “You still believe that?”
“Well, there have been obstructions of justice,” Nadler said. “Whether they are criminal obstruction is another question.
He added that “What Congress has to do is look at a broader picture. We are in charge, we have the responsibility of protecting the rule of law, of looking at obstructions of justice, abuses of power, at corruption, in order to protect the rule of law so that our democratic institutions are not greatly damaged by this president.
“On that very note, if Robert Mueller comes out in his report and suggests very strongly or states flat out that he agrees with you that the president obstructed justice or that the president may have committed some crime that DOJ guidelines don’t allow to be indicted, will you begin impeachment proceedings?” Bash asked.
“It’s way too early to speculate about that,” Nadler said but demanded that the entire Mueller report be made public because “The only institution that can is Congress, and you should not hide the evidence because that converts it into a cover-up. Congress needs that evidence and the American people need that evidence and information to make judgments.”
Watch the clip above, from CNN.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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