Trump Repeatedly Threatens Retaliation Against Russia Investigators

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The day after Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives, Donald Trump threatened retaliation against lawmakers who “waste Taxpayer Money” by scrutinizing him and his administration, and boasted of his power to end Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Then, late on Wednesday, he announced the resignation of the man at the helm of the department responsible for the Mueller probe: Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Adam Schiff, one of the top Democrats preparing to investigate the president, had a response at the ready. On Wednesday, he tweeted: “We will protect the rule of law.” ”

[Read: The 7 most dumbfounding moments from Trump’s post-election press conference]

Now, with power shifting in Washington and the president seemingly prepared to intensify his fight against the Russia investigation, Schiff is poised to play a key role in the coming struggle.

Just ahead of the election when I spoke with Schiff, currently the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and the most likely chair of the committee in the next Congress, he didn’t indicate that Democrats would be deterred by the president. Investigations, he argued, are vital to the national interest.

“Within our committee, we certainly have a compelling interest in making sure that U.S. policy … is not driven by leverage that the Russians have over the president,” Schiff said. “There have been credible allegations that the Russians may have laundered money through the Trump organization, and if that’s the case, then we need to be able to look into and be able to tell the country, ‘Yes this is true or no this is not.’ But I think it would be negligent not to find out.” (“I keep hearing things about investigations,” Trump observed during a press conference on Wednesday. “They’ve got nothing, zero. Do you know why? There is nothing.”)

Schiff noted that Deutsche Bank, which was recently fined for failing to prevent Russian money laundering, loaned Trump money when other banks wouldn’t; that Donald Trump Jr. once spoke of money pouring into the Trump Organization from Russia; and that the president sold a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008 for more than twice what he had paid for it only several years earlier.

[Read: America needs an entirely new foreign policy for the Trump age]

The congressman declined to detail the …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Global

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