U.S. Rep. Jim Himes this week joined other Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee in calling for full protection of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
The Democrats called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, to move with haste to consider a bill that would safeguard Mueller’s investigation in the wake of President Donald Trump’s assertion at a press conference in Helsinki that he did not believe Russia interfered in the elections. Trump later said that he had misspoken and meant the opposite, but then contradicted himself again suggesting others could have meddled as well.
“It is important that our adversaries hear that the opinions of the President with respect to the attack on our election are not the opinions of the United States government — they are the opinions of one man in the United States government,” Himes said. “To the Russians I would say: We know exactly what you did, how you did it and we will work very hard to make sure you do not do it again.”
Himes said that in light of Trump’s criticism it is essential that Congress protect Mueller’s investigation, which has the potential to explain the full depth of the attack on U.S. elections.
Proud to stand with present and former Democratic members of the House Inteligence Committee to call for full protection of Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Posted by Jim Himes on Tuesday, July 17, 2018
“Day in and day out the investigation produces more detail about the mechanics of the attack on the core of our democracy,” Himes said. “Painting a picture of the details of those mechanics so that the American people can understand how they were manipulated — so that all of us can understand what the appropriate response must be — is essential to the integrity of this country and to the thing that makes this country exceptional, which is that power lies with the governed and it is expressed through elections.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee has a bill to do that which has yet to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
“The first thing my Republican colleagues should do today is to protect that all-essential investigation,” Himes said.
For his part, Trump continued Thursday to claim via social media that he has recognized Russian meddling “many times” in the past — pointing to a 2017 statement aired by Fox News.
And, he again blamed the news media for reporting that the summit was not successful: “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems … but they can ALL be solved!”
Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee — voting 11-6 along party lines on Thursday — declined to subpoena the interpreter who worked for President Donald Trump during his summit Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the panel, made the request for the interpreter to appear before the committee saying it was an “extraordinary remedy” but a necessary one to shed light on the private conversation between Trump and Putin that was then followed by Trump’s public disavowal of his own intelligence agencies.