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Engel Statement on First Indictments From Mueller Investigation

Engel Statement on First Indictments From Mueller Investigation

WASHINGTON D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the Federal indictments of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos in conjunction with the Robert Mueller investigation:

"The charges against President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort are deadly serious and point to close and possibly illegal ties between foreign countries and the person Trump hand-picked to lead his run for the White House. Furthermore, the guilty plea from a Trump aide revealed today shows that at least one person in the President's inner circle was in contact with Russians and tried to cover it up by lying to the FBI.

"We need to know everything that has occurred here; no stone can be left unturned. That's why Mr. Mueller's investigation must proceed unimpeded. If the President fires Mr. Mueller or pardons anyone in exchange for their silence, we will find ourselves in a constitutional crisis rivaling Watergate. 

"I also believe it is imperative that we convene an independent commission—one that is separate and apart from the politics of the Justice Department and Congress—to investigate the possible collusions between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Clearly, Vladimir Putin and his cronies worked hard to tip the scales of our election. For the sake of protecting our electoral process and its integrity going forward, we need the extent of their meddling to be made clear and devise ways to prevent future attacks on our democracy."