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. . . the President’s aversion to the scrutiny of his business interests caught the attention of Representative Adam Schiff, who will become the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence next year. On a recent weekend, at a busy restaurant in downtown Burbank, in the heart of his congressional district, Schiff talked about his plans for conducting an investigation that will be parallel to Mueller’s, probing Trump’s connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other places around the world. As Schiff described his approach, it became clear that he wasn’t just planning to cross Trump’s red line—he intended to obliterate it.

The job of prosecutors like Mueller is to identify and prosecute crimes, not necessarily to inform and educate the public. Congressional committees, like the one Schiff will soon lead, are supposed to monitor the executive branch and expose wrongdoing. Mueller is supposed to file a report on his findings, but, in keeping with the regulations for the office of the special counsel, it will be up to his supervisor in the Justice Department, who is now Matthew Whitaker, the acting Attorney General, to determine whether Mueller’s report is made public. Schiff has his own agenda for areas to investigate. “The one that has always concerned me is the financial issues, which obviously have come much to the fore this week,” he said. Shortly before Schiff and I spoke, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his role in the negotiations for building a Trump tower in Moscow. Cohen had said earlier that these discussions ended in January, 2016, but he admitted in court that he had been negotiating with Russian officials, and keeping Trump apprised, through the first half of 2016, during the Republican Presidential primaries. Trump has denied that he was doing business with the Russians during this period.

Schiff went on, “At the end of the day, what should concern us most is anything that can have a continuing impact on the foreign policy and national-security policy of the United States, and, if the Russians were laundering money for the Trump Organization, that would be totally compromising.” Schiff hypothesizes that Trump went beyond using his campaign and the Presidency as a vehicle for advancing his business interests, speculating that he may have shaped policy with an eye to expanding his fortune. “There’s a whole constellation of issues where that is essentially the center of gravity,” Schiff said. “Obviously, that issue is implicated in efforts to build Trump Tower in Moscow. It’s implicated in the money that Trump is bragging he was getting from the Saudis. And why shouldn’t he love the Saudis? He said he was making so much money from them.” As the Washington Post has reported, Trump has sold a superyacht and a hotel to a Saudi prince, a $4.5-million apartment near the United Nations to the Saudi government, and many other apartments to Saudi nationals, and, since Trump became President, his hotels in New York and Chicago have seen significant increases in bookings from Saudi visitors. In a break with the Republican congressional leadership, Trump refuses to take action against Saudi Arabia, notwithstanding substantial evidence that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and the putative head of state, directed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who lived in the United States.

Schiff also pointed out that Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, met with the C.E.O. of a state-owned Russian bank in December, 2016, and that, the following month, Erik Prince, an informal adviser to the Trump campaign, met with the leader of a Russian sovereign-wealth fund in the Seychelles, an East African archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean. “The American people have a right to know that their President is working on their behalf, not his family’s financial interests,” Schiff said. “Right now, I don’t think any of us can have the confidence that that’s the case.” All of these subjects, Schiff averred, were fair game for investigation by the committee that he will soon chair.


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Subject Views Written By Posted
With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff’s congressional investigation will follow the money. 139 Jock 16-Dec-18 04:45
Re: With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff’s congressional investigation will follow the money. 43 Barbelo 16-Dec-18 06:35
Re: With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff’s congressional investigation will follow the money. 42 Jock 16-Dec-18 08:21
Wrong Headline 32 Barbelo 16-Dec-18 19:30
Re: Wrong Headline 28 eli stills 16-Dec-18 20:05
Re: Wrong Headline 28 Warwick 16-Dec-18 21:24
I voted for him 29 drrayeye 17-Dec-18 00:29
You Voted For Schiff?? 40 Barbelo 17-Dec-18 03:59


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