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 ManafortFormer White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report Mueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report Cohen questioned for hours in Mueller probe about Trump's dealings with Russia: report 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 WarnerRussia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless Bipartisan trio asks US intelligence to investigate ‘deepfakes’ 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 TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate 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 SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Trump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe 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 PalloneNew Trump rule would weaken Obama methane pollution standards FCC watchdog clears chairman of 'favoritism' allegations over Sinclair deal GAO report blasts Trump's handling of ObamaCare 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."