Rep. Hakeem Jeffries to Republicans: Stop Peddling Lies About A Phony Witch Hunt

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While questioning Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries details the corruption and criminality of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign already discovered by the FBI as a rebuke to Trump's claims that Robert Mueller is leading a witch hunt.

"For the last few hours, we've sat in this hearing, and some of my colleagues, part of the Cover-Up Caucus, have attempted to peddle conspiracy theories that the investigation into the Trump campaign's potential criminality, where we were attacked by a hostile foreign power, is a witch hunt," he said.

"It's a phony, fraudulent and fake argument. Stop peddling lies about a so-called Democratic witch hunt to the American people."





REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES: Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Horowitz, we live in a democracy, not an authoritarian state. Is that correct?

HOROWITZ: That's correct.

JEFFRIES: And, in your view, is it generally appropriate to begin to ask American citizens how they voted in a presidential election, or in any election, for that matter?

HOROWITZ: In my view, that's not a question we should be asking, certainly from my standpoint.

JEFFRIES: OK, thank you.

The special counsel's investigation into possible Russian interference with the 2016 election has resulted in 23 indictments, correct?

HOROWITZ: I don't know, actually...

(CROSSTALK)

JEFFRIES: 20 individuals have been indicted in connection with that investigation.

HOROWITZ: I'll accept your representation.

JEFFRIES: OK. Three corporate entities have been indicted in connection with the special counsel's investigation. Correct?

HOROWITZ: Again, I don't know as I'm sitting here, but I'll accept -- certainly accept your representation.

JEFFRIES: The special counsel's investigation into possible Russian conclusion identified 75 different criminal acts, correct?

HOROWITZ: Same answer.

JEFFRIES: There have been five guilty pleas, true?

HOROWITZ: Same answer.

JEFFRIES: Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, correct?

HOROWITZ: Same answer. I believe that's correct.

JEFFRIES: And Paul Manafort's now sitting in jail, correct?

HOROWITZ: That is correct.

JEFFRIES: And that's in connection with alleged witness tampering, true?

HOROWITZ: That's what I've read.

JEFFRIES: And Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Correct?

HOROWITZ: That's my understanding.

JEFFRIES: His deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, has been indicted on conspiracy to defraud the United States. True?

HOROWITZ: Again, I would accept your representation.

JEFFRIES: OK. And George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign national security adviser, has pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians during the campaign. Correct?

HOROWITZ: I believe that's correct.

JEFFRIES: Now, former FBI Director James Comey initiated the criminal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Correct?

HOROWITZ: I -- I'm -- actually, I'm not sure who and precisely how it was opened.

JEFFRIES: OK. But he was FBI director at the time, true?

HOROWITZ: He was the FBI director at the time.

JEFFRIES: And James Comey's a lifelong Republican, correct?

HOROWITZ: That, I don't know.

(CROSSTALK)

JEFFRIES: Bob Mueller is the special counsel leading the criminal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. True?

HOROWITZ: He is now the special counsel, correct.

JEFFRIES: And Special Counsel Bob Mueller's a well-respected law enforcement professional, correct?

HOROWITZ: I'll speak for myself; I have respect for him.

JEFFRIES: He's a man of integrity, true?

HOROWITZ: That's my opinion.

JEFFRIES: And Special Counsel Bob Mueller's a lifelong Republican, correct?

HOROWITZ: That, I don't know.

JEFFRIES: Now, Rod Rosenstein is the Justice Department's deputy attorney general, correct?

HOROWITZ: Correct.

JEFFRIES: And, in that capacity, the deputy attorney general oversees the special counsel's criminal investigation into the Trump campaign, correct?

HOROWITZ: That's my understanding.

JEFFRIES: Now Donald Trump, the Republican president, appointed Rod Rosenstein to that position of deputy A.G., true?

HOROWITZ: Correct.

JEFFRIES: And Rod Rosenstein is a registered Republican, correct?

HOROWITZ: That, I don't know.

JEFFRIES: Christopher Wray is the current FBI director, correct?

HOROWITZ: Correct.

JEFFRIES: He was appointed to that position by Donald Trump, true?

HOROWITZ: Correct.

JEFFRIES: And, in that capacity, the FBI director helps lead the criminal investigation into the Trump campaign, correct?

HOROWITZ: I'm actually not sure of that, with the special counsel -- how that plays out.

JEFFRIES: OK. We think that he's involved.

FBI Director Christopher Wray is a registered Republican, correct?

HOROWITZ: That, I don't know.

JEFFRIES: For the last few hours, we've sat in this hearing, and some of my colleagues, part of the Cover-Up Caucus, have attempted to peddle conspiracy theories that the investigation into the Trump campaign's potential criminality, where we were attacked by a hostile foreign power, is a witch hunt.

There is not a scintilla of evidence that a witch hunt exists right now. In fact, if any individual connected to the 2016 presidential campaign was victimized by prosecutorial misconduct, her name was Hillary Clinton.

The report that you've produced, 500-plus pages, makes clear that the former FBI director violated Department of Justice protocol on multiple occasions, most severely in July of 2016, with a public explanation of Hillary Clinton's conduct, recklessly calling it "extremely careless," violating DOJ protocol, and then, of course, again in October of 2016, with 11 days prior to the presidential campaign.

What are you guys complaining about? You know what happened. James Comey decided to play judge, jury and executioner, and, on October 28th, he executed the Hillary Clinton campaign -- killed her in Pennsylvania, killed her in Michigan, killed her in Wisconsin and handed Donald Trump the presidency and, at the same time, decided to pardon the Trump campaign in the court of public opinion by refusing to confirm the public -- to the public the investigation that was taking place in the Trump campaign.

It's a phony, fraudulent and fake argument. Stop peddling lies about a so-called Democratic witch hunt to the American people.

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