The head of a government ethics organization accused House Republican Jim Jordan of Urbana of helping President Donald Trump “thwart” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump aides in 2016 colluded with Russian officials to damage the presidential campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21 in Washington, charged that by threatening articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for refusing to turn over to Congress documents about the investigation, Jordan, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-S.C., and Trump are “colluding to obstruct and potentially give” the White House control of the probe.
Wertheimer said this “reckless attempt by the president, assisted by his two helpers in the House, to thwart a criminal investigation involving his own activities constitutes gross abuse of office and a direct attack on the rule of law.”
He warned “this appears to be a set up that would allow the president to improperly order Rosenstein to turn over the documents to Meadows and Jordan, and then to fire him when he refuses to do so.”
Melika Willoughby, a Jordan spokeswoman, said the Ohio Republican believes Rosenstein’s “actions undermine the constitutional authority of the legislative branch. He has slow walked the release of documents, stonewalled congressional oversight efforts, and ignored the requirements of a congressional subpoena.”
“Mr. Wertheimer’s comments show how out of touch he is with the facts surrounding congressional investigations, and they fail to appreciate the frustrations Americans have with the Justice Department —- specifically the fact that there appears to be one set of rules for everyday Americans but a different set for Washington insiders,” she said.
Mueller, a former FBI director, was named special counsel last spring by Rosenstein after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigating potential contacts between Russian intelligence officials and Trump aides.
Because of Mueller’s investigation, federal grand juries have indicted 13 Russian nationals for trying to interfere with the 2016 campaign. In addition, Paul Manafort, who managed Trump’s 2016 campaign, and Rick Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, were indicted on charges of money laundering in connection with the Ukraine government.
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Gates, former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to making false statements and are cooperating with Mueller’s investigators.
But no one has yet proved Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians to tip the election toward the Republican.
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