Transcript for Top House Intel Democrat: Even if McCabe firing 'justified, it can also be tainted'
Let's get more on this from the top Democrat on the house intelligence committee congressman Adam Schiff. Thanks for joining us. As we've been talking the president has continued his series of tweets. Want to put up the latest one. Latest attack on Robert Mueller. Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrat, some bigging crewed Hillary supporters, zero Republicans. Another DEM recently added. Does anyone think this is fair? And yet there is no collusion. We've seen the series of tweet, the statement from the trump lawyer suggesting the entire investigation should be shut down. What would happen if the president made that move? Well, I would hope that it would prompt all Democrats and Republicans in the house to pass an independent counsel law and reinstate Bob Mueller. This would undoubtedly result in a constitutional crisis and I think Democrats and Republicans need to speak out about this right now. I think, George, you just Tampa pointed to the single most important development of the week and that is at the same time it's revealed that the special counsel is looking at business records of the trump organization and I've always thought the money laundering issue was the most serious, you have the president through his lawyer trying to shut down the Mueller investigation and speaking out against special counsel. Members need to speak out now. Don't wait for the crisis but I would hope that that would be the result that we would affirm our system of checks and balances and appoint an independent counsel. President continually repeating there was no collusion during the campaign and the tweets over the last 48 hours, of course, that is the conclusion of the Republicans of the house intelligence committee this week as well. I know you dispute that but with a report by the Democrats be able to demonstrate that collusion did, in fact, take place? Well, certainly be able to show the facts supporting the issue of collusion and the secret meetings all the lies about the secret meetings and putting them in their important context, the timing of these secret meetings. But there's still a lot of investigative work to find the remaining pieces of the puzzle and the most significant part of the Republican shutting us down is preventing us from doing so. We have never brought in George papadopoulos. We don't know the information he got from the Russians. We don't know whether that led to the trump tower meeting and disappointment by the president's son that he didn't get stolen e-mails at that meeting. There are still a great many of unanswered questions and the Republicans have really prevented us and our committee from getting them so that work has to be done but we will be reporting on what we have found and importantly what leads need to be pursued to give the American people the full picture. You also haven't done much work on another story that broke late. The fact that the firm Cambridge analytica took private information from 50 million Facebook users. What does this is a to you? What questions need to be answered there. Again, this is in our status report one of the issues we pointed out was premature for the Republicans to shut us down because we only brought in Alexander Nixon. Even then it was by a video conference at the GOP insistence if. We need to find out what we can about the misappropriation of the privacy, the private information of tens of millions of Americans. That misappropriate information used by this digital arm of the trump campaign to manipulate American voters and, of course, the links between Cambridge analytica and Julian assange. We know Nick many reached 0 out to him to try to acquire stolen e-mails. The links between this Russian researcher and Cambridge analytica and the links between Russian analytica and a Russian oilcompany Luke oil that wanted information about reaching American voters. All of that needs to be investigated and the premature conclusion of this investigation doesn't allow us to do our job. We mentioned those subpoenas to the trump organization earlier. As that was happening I was sitting down with the president's business partner on the proposed trump tower in Moscow Felix Sater. He revealed they were seeking financing from Russian banks and then I went on to ask if it was appropriate for presidential candidate to be pursuing a deal like that while he was running for president. Here's what he said. I can't answer that. I can only answer in the following way, a beautiful building could have been built. And maybe even improved goodwill relations between the countries because of it. I didn't see any downside. He still hoping actually that tower can be built. You mentioned your concerns with money laundering. Did you come across any information in your investigation and I know the house intelligence committee spoke with Felix Sater that would raise questions about this attempt to build a trump tower in Moscow. The two big red flags on that attempt are the indications that they were trying to seek financing from a Russian sanctioned bank, a bank that was sanctioned by U.S. Policy, U.S. Government, but also the fact that they were concealing this transaction. The candidate trump was saying he had no business interest in Russia. And if he's seeking to make a bunch of money in Russia during the presidential campaign, and it certainlying looks like his campaign chairman Paul manafort was trying to make money was it influencing trump andpresident trump's policy now? That issue as well as whether Deutsche Bank was using Russian money, laupdz determining Russian money for the trump organization needs to be investigated because if these are levers that they can use, it would be negligent not to find out with our national security. On Andrew Mccabe, does the fact that the inspector general did say, did find that he lacked candor in some of his responses and that his firing was recommended by career FBI officials, does that give you pause and does it suggest that, in fact, his firing was or may be justified? You know, his firing may be justified. There's no way for us to know at this point but even though it may have been justified, it can also be tainted and I think the president's badgering of the attorney general, his urging that he be fired before his pengui pension could vest and the fact that Mccabe and every other of the James Comey associates, his general counsel, baker, chief of staff who corroborate James Comey on the issue of potential obstruction of justice, every one of them has been targeted by the administration, by the Republicans and congress and is this because they corroborate James Comey? That's a question we also have to answer. Congressman Schiff, thanks four your time. Republican response from senator
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