Responding to reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had signed indictments against 13 Russians who allegedly worked to interfere with the 2016 elections, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) the House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, issued a statement that included a warning to the Trump administration. Specifically, Nadler said that any threat or move to fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein or Mueller would be seen as an attempt to help the Russian government. He added:
Given the facts alleged in this indictment, not even President Trump should doubt that the Russian government’s effort to subvert our last election was real, that the conspiracy was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and damaging Hillary Clinton, and that Russian operatives were both present in the United States and aided by co-conspirators on the ground.
That last point should be repeated: these thirteen defendants worked ‘with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury’ to defraud the United States. The indictment does not identify these co-conspirators. I suspect their names will be known to us soon.
Today’s indictments should lay to rest any assertions by President Trump that the Special Counsel’s investigation is a ‘hoax’ or a ‘witch hunt.’ At this point, any step President Trump may take to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation—including removing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, or threatening to remove Special Counsel Mueller directly—will have to be seen as a direct attempt to aid the Russian government in attacking American democracy. [Emphasis added]
Appearing on MSNBC, Nadler continued his admonition, comparing the Russian attempt to Pearl Harbor.
“My reaction to the news is this is absolute proof of what we knew all along and what the president has denied, namely that we were attacked. This is a very serious attack against the United States by a hostile foreign power, an attack against our election process, our entire governing process. We know that the attack is continuing. And that our intelligence agencies tell us that it’s going to certainly continue through the next election. And the president and the Republicans in the House for that matter refuse, refuse to do anything about protecting us from an attack. Imagine if FDR had denied that the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and didn’t react. That’s the equivalent,” he told Chris Hayes.
Breitbart posted a partial transcript of the interview, in which Nadler accused Trump of not protecting the Constitution:
CHRIS HAYES: It’s a bit of a different thing.
JERROLD NADLER: No it’s not.
HAYES: They didn’t kill anyone.
NADLER: They didn’t kill anyone but they’re destroying our democratic process.
HAYES: Do you really think it’s on par?
NADLER: Not in the amount of violence, but in the seriousness, it is very much on par. This country exists to have a democratic system with a small d. That’s what the country’s all about. This is an attempt to destroy that. And the president’s core, the presidential oath is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. This president is refusing to do that.
As we and others reported, Rosenstein admitted the years-long effort did not impact the outcome of the election and no Americans willingly colluded with the Russian government.
- Mueller indicts 13 Russians for alleged election meddling, FBI says outcome of election not impacted
- Video of the Day: Tucker Carlson says Obama viewed Trump as a ‘traitor and a Russian spy’
- Dem. Sen. Mark Warner colluded with Russians to get private meeting with Christopher Steele