Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: Russian Oligarch News Matters Worse for Trump

Reports that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Russian oligarchs when they traveled to the United States points to the fact that the more that’s learned, “the worse it gets for [President] Donald Trump and all the president’s men,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said Thursday.

“Bob Mueller is running a thorough, comprehensive investigation,” the New York Democrat, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s “New Day.” 

“He’s going to get to the bottom of what happened on behalf of the American people. You have potential money laundering that may have occurred prior to the campaign. . . A possible conspiracy with Russian spies.”

CNN reported Wednesday that two Russian oligarchs were stopped during trips to the United States as part of Mueller’s Russia probe. At least one of them had his electronic devices searched when he landed at a New York City area airport, but it was not clear if the other person was searched.

“I think he will look for motive and opportunity perhaps as it relates to interactions with these oligarchs,” said Jeffries.

The fundamental question, said Jeffries, is what Trump knew and when he knew it.

“We do know that Russia, a foreign power, interfered in our election for the purpose of artificially elevating Donald Trump into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he claimed. “That and of itself justifies a comprehensive investigation.

Meanwhile, it will be a step in the right direction if the Trump administration follows through with plans to sanction several Russian oligarchs this week, said Jeffries.

“It is not clear whether it is just talk or will result in action,” he said. “What we have seen from this administration so far on a whole range of issues is no real action.

“Congress months ago, gave power on an incredibly bipartisan way to levy punishment against Russia for interfering in our election, and all we have seen from the president is continuing this ‘bromance’ with President [Vladimir] Putin.

“That’s unfortunate. If he is going to change his tune and they’re going to punish Russia for what it did, that would be a reasonable step forward.”


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