Dems: Manafort, Cohen prove that Mueller’s probe is not a witch hunt

Dems: Manafort, Cohen prove that Mueller’s probe is not a witch hunt
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The top Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence committees were among those saying the Tuesday conviction of former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller recommends Manafort serve at least 19 years in prison The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears CNN's Toobin: 'Almost unrecognizable' Manafort 'in danger of losing his life' in prison MORE proves the seriousness of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia probe.

Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud in the first criminal trial to come out of Mueller's investigation. Multiple other subjects have already pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller's team.

“Today’s guilty verdict makes it absolutely clear that the Mueller probe is a serious investigation that is rooting out corruption and Russian influence on our political system at the highest levels,” Senate Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Steel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE (Va.) tweeted Tuesday.

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Warner continued, “The President’s campaign manager was just convicted of serious federal crimes by a jury of his peers, despite the President’s continued attempts to undermine the investigation which has brought Mr. Manafort to justice.”

“Any attempt by the President to pardon Mr. Manfort or interfere in the investigation into his campaign would be a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by Congress,” he concluded.

Manafort was convicted in Northern Virginia of five charges of filing false income tax returns, one count of failing to report foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud, with the jury deadlocked over 10 other charges.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE brought a culture of corruption from his campaign to the White House,” Democratic National Committee 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 in a statement. “The special counsel’s investigation has never been a ‘witch hunt,’ and today’s verdict proves it. Paul Manafort wasn’t just Trump’s campaign chair, he was one of his most trusted advisors; the two have known each other for nearly four decades and reportedly spoke to each other nearly 20 times a day.”

Almost simultaneous with Manafort’s conviction, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in New York to breaking campaign finance law, saying he did so at the behest of the president.

House Intelligence panel ranking member Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Hillicon Valley: Facebook weighs crackdown on anti-vaccine content | Lyft challenges Trump fuel standards rollback | Illinois tries to woo Amazon | New round of China trade talks next week Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement Tuesday, “These convictions demonstrate that Mueller’s investigation is far from a ‘witch hunt,’ as the President falsely repeats as a mantra.”

“Instead, it shows that Mueller and prosecutors in New York are conducting a professional investigation, following the facts where they lead, and obtaining serious felony convictions,” Schiff continued.

Other Democrats took to Twitter to express similar views.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) tweeted, "Manafort's conviction is just the latest evidence that Mueller is doing his job - and doing it pretty damn well." 

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Lawmakers pay tribute to John Dingell's legacy on health care | White House denies officials are sabotaging ObamaCare | FDA wants meeting with Juul, Altria execs on youth vaping Hillicon Valley: Dems ready to subpoena Trump Tower meeting phone records | Dems, Whitaker in standoff over testimony | Bezos accuses National Enquirer of 'extortion' | Amazon offers rules for facial recognition | Apple releases FaceTime fix Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump official says agency would not have supported family separations | 2020 Dems walk fine line on 'Medicare for all' | Advocates skeptical of Trump AIDS pledge | Johnson and Johnson to show drug prices on TV MORE (D-N.J.) tweeted that Tuesday was a "shameful day for Trump world as its upending corruption continues to be exposed."

He continued, "This is just the beginning, we need to protect the Mueller investigation and ensure that Trump and his cronies are held accountable."