Top Dem displays posters of ‘guilty’ subjects in Mueller probe
A top House Democrat at a contentious hearing Thursday brought posters referring to “guilty” associates of President Trump who have been implicated in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, delivered his opening remarks, aides displayed poster boards to highlight the guilty pleas Mueller has obtained in his ongoing probe.
Republicans briefly objected to the visual aids. “Cite the rule,” Democrats said, and Cummings was ultimately allowed to proceed.
“There has been one obvious development,” Cummings said. “The special counsel has now obtained five guilty pleas and indicted 18 others, including some of President Trump’s closest advisers.”
The posters displayed photos of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan and Richard Pinedo, a California man who sold bank numbers to Russian individuals implicated in Mueller’s probe.
Republicans on the House Judiciary and the House Oversight committees called the hearing to grill FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok on text messages he sent expressing criticism of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race.
GOP lawmakers allege that the messages written by Strzok — a former member of Mueller’s investigative team who also worked on the Hillary Clinton email probe — are evidence of anti-Trump bias at the FBI. Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Republicans of undertaking a politically motivated charade to discredit Mueller’s probe.
Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia investigation earlier this year after a Justice Department inspector general investigation uncovered the text messages.
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