July 13, 2018

Representative Adam Schiff gave a wide-ranging interview to Wolf Blitzer after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers.

The discussion ranged from Trump's planned meeting with Vladimir Putin to Rudy Giuliani's absurd claim that these indictments somehow "vindicate" Donald Trump.

Schiff on what the indictment says and doesn't say: "What i've been looking at in these indictments, like the last indictment, is both what they include and what they don't include. Here in the first indictment on the social media campaign, there was no mention of the hacking and dumping operation. So this indictment was foreseeable. We knew this was coming. But here, there's no mention, for example, of the Russians communicating with Papadopoulos. Now, I'm going through this indictment in real time, but I haven't found any mention of that yet. Why is that excluded, that the Russians approached the Trump campaign, letting them know that they had these documents that are spelled out in this indictment?

The reason you wouldn't include that is if may be more charges you wanted to bring later that do involve U.S. persons. So this still doesn't resolve the question of whether U.S. persons were knowingly involved. All the Attorney General -- Deputy Attorney General said today is there are no allegations about that in this indictment."

Wolf Blitzer then played Trump's ridiculous claims that the "witch hunt is hurting our relationship with Russia."

"This is exactly why he should not go to this meeting with Putin," Schiff said. "He is basically undercutting the work of our own intelligence agencies, throwing it open to question, suggesting that this is all a witch hunt. That is complete music to Putin's ears."

"And on the heels of bashing our allies in Europe to go to a meeting with Putin in this kind of a subservient way to the interests of the Kremlin would be disastrous to our national interests," he added.

"The problem is not the investigation," Schiff continued. "The problem is that we have a President of the United States unwilling to confront our enemies and adversaries but who gratuitously attacks our allies. That's the problem. That's the threat to our country, not the good work of Bob Mueller."

After some discussion about the timing of the indictments, and the depth of them, they moved on to Rudy Giuliani's absurd claim that these indictments somehow "vindicate" Trump.

"They could be walking the president away in handcuffs and Rudy Giuliani would say he's been vindicated," Schiff scoffed. "But only partly in jest."

The call for Trump to cancel his meeting is becoming a drumbeat from Democrats. At the very least, there ought to be a witness there, but I will certainly also settle for a bug.

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