Politics

New York Democrat Says Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses, Accuses Him of ‘Massive Fraud’

Jerry Nadler goes on rant to CNN's Jake Tapper

Image Credit: Pool / Pool / Getty Images and Alex Wong / Staff / Getty Images

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the ranking member and likely soon-to-be chair of the House’s Judiciary Committee, said on Sunday on CNN that based on Friday’s filings in the Southern District of New York, President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses during his campaign.

“Whether they are important enough to justify impeachment is a different question, but certainly they would be impeachable offenses because even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office,” Nadler told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday on “State of the Union.”

He was referring to prosecutors’ unproven allegations that Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to engage in campaign finance violations.

“The president was at the center of a massive fraud — several massive frauds — against the American people,” Nadler insisted.

“It’s now our job, the job of the Justice Department, the special prosecutor, the special counsel, and the Congress to get the bottom of this to find out exactly what was going on … to find out basically what did the president know and when did he know it so that we can then hold him accountable.”

Related: Mueller’s Filings on Friday: ‘No Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion’

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Nadler was responding to Friday’s filing in the Southern District of New York on Michael Cohen, which stated, in part, “With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election … In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1.”

“Individual-1” refers to the president.

Nadler went on to emphasize his belief that recent indictments and charging statements have shown a “much broader conspiracy against the American people … involving the Russians trying to get influence in the campaign.”

The future chair of the House’s judiciary committee accused the Republican Congress of attempting to “shield the president.”

“The new Congress [which will convene January 3] will not try to shield the president. It will try to … stop this massive fraud on the American people.”

“You don’t necessarily launch an impeachment against a president because he committed an impeachable offense,” Nadler said, muddying the waters a bit on whether he would start impeachment proceedings or not.

Related: What Jim Comey Told House Republicans About His White House Dealings

Nadler said that the number and importance of impeachable offenses committed come into play in determining whether to start impeachment proceedings.

He also admitted that “an impeachment is an attempt to, in effect, overturn or change the result of the last election,” adding that it should be done “only” “for very serious situations.”

“We have to look at the fact that he surrounded himself with crooks,” Nadler declared. “The president created his own swamp and brought it to the White House.”

Nadler disagreed with the Department of Justice, saying he believes nothing constitutionally prohibits a sitting president from being indicted.

In addition to his remarks about potentially impeaching the president based on an 18-month investigation the president has repeatedly characterized as a “witch hunt,” Nadler also intends to make another controversial move.

Nadler said Friday that he wants to end the ongoing investigation into how alleged partisan bias within the FBI may have tainted decisions the bureau made before and during the 2016 campaign.

He denies that ending the investigation would constitute a shirking of his congressional oversight duties of the Department of Justice and the FBI.

“I think that was thoroughly investigated by the inspector general,” said Nadler, adding that the IG concluded that the partisan opinions of key actors did not “in any way influence the actions of the department.”

Nadler denies that ending the investigation would constitute a shirking of his congressional oversight duties of the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Pivotal figures within the investigation of the FBI that Nadler plans to stop include Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, then-Acting Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and then-Director James Comey.

“This has been thoroughly investigated. And frankly, it’s not a question of ending the investigation. There’s nothing left to investigate.”

Tapper, in an attempt to correct Nadler, reminded him that the inspector general came to that conclusion with respect to Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton’s email server through the summer of 2016, but not necessarily with respect to decisions made after that.

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.

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