Markey Concerned Trump Might Fire Mueller, Refuses to Address Russian Dossier

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2017/10/30/markey-concerned-trump-might-fire-mueller-refuses-to-address-russian-dossier/

Massachusetts’s junior U.S. senator, Ed Markey, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday that he’s worried President Donald Trump may move to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller, whose investigation into allegations of Russian-driven election collusion has now resulted in the indictment of a former Trump campaign manager and the guilty plea of a campaign underling. 

“This is clearly a major first step and we have to make sure that President Trump does not fire Robert Mueller, because that would be clearly something that he would considering right now to shut down this investigation, which he has been trying to do from its very inception,” the Malden Democrat told Mitchell. “The president continues to argue that the whole Russian investigation is a hoax, and if he believes that, then he would seriously consider firing Robert Mueller, he would seriously consider giving a pardon to Paul Manafort or Rick Gates, and either one of those actions would trigger a major Constitutional crisis in the United States.”

Manafort, whom Trump dismissed from his campaign months in August 2016, a little less than three months before the presidential election, has been charged along with Gates as acting as unregistered agents of a Ukrainian political party leader with Kremlin ties, earning lofty sums and allegedly laundering the money through various offshore accounts.

The charges, however, encompass a nine-year span between 2006 and 2015. Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016, took over as campaign manager in June, and left the campaign in mid-August.

Trump’s campaign is not mentioned in the indictment, but that did not stop Markey from claiming a connection.

Manafort and Gates have both pleaded not guilty.

“Manafort and Gates had contacts with Russian-supported Ukrainian officials that could have as well compromised the election,” Markey told Mitchell. 

Market also mentioned a third individual, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser named George Papadopoulos, who was arrested in July and later pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents regarding the timing of his interactions with Russian officials. Papadopoulos, according to court documents, lied to investigators concerning meetings he apparently had with a Russian professor who claimed to have “dirt” on Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. 

“Papadopoulous has pleaded guilty to lying about contacts with Russian officials who were seeking to influence the presidential election in 2016,” Markey said. “That is a clear, major step towards creating this link, this collusion, that may have existed in much larger form between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, so that Papadopoulos guilty plea is very significant.”

Mitchell then asked Markey about recent developments concerning a debunked dossier containing lurid allegations involving Trump and Russian officials. The dossier, a series of explosive but unfounded memos compiled by a former British secret intelligence agent named Christopher Steele, was funded via the political opposition research outfit known as Fusion GPS. 

Last week it was revealed that the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s presidential campaign funded the Steele dossier. Reports have also surfaced confirming that the FBI relied in part on information gleaned from the Steele dossier in its decision to expand its investigation into potential ties between Trump and the Kremlin. 

Markey ducked Mitchell, who asked him whether there is “a legitimate issue about what the Democrats did as well as what Republicans arguably did.”

Markey:

“Look it, what Donald Trump is doing, is he’s just throwing out all of these red herrings about Hillary Clinton. As a matter of fact there’s are so many red herrings the president has been putting out in the last few days that we’ll probably have to have an aquarium to put all of these red herrings in. But it’s all clearly intended to get away from the central point that there has been a guilty plea and two other indictments, and the president is just throwing out Hillary Clinton as red meat to his base in order to give himself some kind of core support. But ultimately this whole issue is going to just continue to return to the Trump campaign and the Trump White House, what did they know, and when did they know it, about Russian interference in our elections?”

 

Read the Papadopoulos indictment:

2017 10 05 Papadopoulos Indictment by Evan on Scribd

Read the Manafort/Gates indictment:

2017-10-30 Manfort Gates Indictment by Evan on Scribd

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