Hillary Clinton reportedly said Monday that Congress must “do their jobs” alongside the Russia special counsel, but that facts damning to the administration are already public, hours after the Justice Department indicted former Trump campaign aides in the ongoing probe.
“We know everything we need to know; we just have to make sure that members of Congress do their jobs and hold the president accountable,” the former Democratic presidential nominee said in Chicago while on tour to promote her latest book, “What Happened,” according to CBS News.
Clinton said President Trump is turning a blind eye to Russian attempts to interfere in American democracy, despite warnings from the intelligence community that agree the Kremlin attempted to and probably still is meddling in U.S. affairs.
“I’ll leave it to the investigators to decide whether or not there was collusion or conspiracy, but we don’t need a lengthy investigation to tell us that Trump is ignoring the intelligence community about an urgent threat, refusing to stand up to an adversary who has already attacked us, and abdicating his responsibility to preserve, protect and defend our national security interests,” she said.
The comments are her first extensive ones since a federal grand jury hit former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Richard Gates with a 12-count indictment on Monday morning.
Prosecutors charge that the two men knowingly evaded foreign lobbying disclosure laws by doing work for Moscow and then lying about it. Other charges include conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, tax evasion and lying to federal authorities.
Manafort and Gates both pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court later in the day.
A third former Trump aide has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian officials.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into the Kremlin’s 2016 interference, as well as if Trump campaign associates colluded with the Russians to sway the outcome of the election.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the intelligence community’s accusations of Moscow hacking the 2016 election as a “fake news” excuse from Democrats over their unexpected loss.
Top social media companies Facebook, Google and Twitter are also under scrutiny for their role in Russia’s attempt to influence and sow discord during last year’s heated presidential campaign.
BY OLIVIA BEAVERS – 10/30/17 11:27 PM EDT