DNC chair on Russian indictments: 'This is not a witch hunt'

DNC chair on Russian indictments: 'This is not a witch hunt'
© Greg Nash

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said Friday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for the 2016 hacking of the DNC proves that Mueller's probe is “not a witch hunt.”

“The Russian government attacked our democracy in 2016 and the Democratic National Committee was a primary target of this attack. Those are the facts,” Perez said in a statement.

Perez said the indictment shows “how vast this operation was” and called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE and Republican lawmakers “to stop ignoring this urgent threat to our national security.”


"This is not a witch hunt and it is certainly not a joke, as Donald Trump has desperately and incorrectly argued in the past,” Perez said.

“The Kremlin's efforts to disrupt our electoral process have grave implications for our democracy,” he said. “Donald Trump and his Republican enablers’ efforts to discredit these established facts only embolden Putin's Russia and invite further attacks on our country.”

Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, when Trump said he would ask the Russian leader about election meddling.

"We will of course ask your favorite question about meddling. I will be asking that question again,” Trump said at a news conference at the end of a tumultuous NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Perez told reporters later on Friday that Trump should "absolutely" cancel his meeting with Putin, saying "there is nothing the president can gain from this meeting."

He added that if Trump does meet with Putin, he "should do nothing less than hand Putin this indictment and the previous indictment, and demand the immediate extradition of all these individuals."

Mueller on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers — all members of the the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency — for hacking the DNC during the 2016 election.

The U.S. intelligence community stated in an assessment released last January that the GRU was responsible for breaking into the DNC email accounts of top party officials, and that the breach was intended to help President Trump win the election.

WikiLeaks released hacked emails from the DNC and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Harris adds key Clinton aide, women of color to 2020 campaign: report Democrats more likely Trump's foil, than to foil Trump MORE’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in the 2016 election. 

The White House said in a statement Friday that the indictment shows that no collusion took place between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election.