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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Reiterates Call for Investigation of Trump’s Kremlin Klan during CBC Hearing

March 1, 2017
Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 1, 2017

Contact: Twaun Samuel

Phone: (202) 225-2201

E-mail: Twaun.Samuel@mail.house.gov

 

 

Congresswoman Waters Reiterates Call for Investigation of Trump’s Kremlin Klan during CBC Hearing

 

Washington, D.C.Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, made a statement today reiterating her demand for a thorough investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in the hacking of the 2016 election. The statement was made at a hearing on Capitol Hill entitled, “The White House, Russian Officials, and National Security,” which was organized by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Last month, Congresswoman Waters introduced H.Con.Res. 15, a resolution to investigate possible collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Her resolution has 20 congressional cosponsors. The Congresswoman’s statement as prepared for delivery follows:

 

I want begin by thanking the Chairman, Congressman Cedric Richmond, for organizing this very important panel today.  I want to also thank the panelists for agreeing to share with us their knowledge and expertise.  As some of you know, I have been covering this issue for many months, and I believe our panelists share my deep concerns about the many questions that continue to haunt the Trump Administration. 

 

From questions about the Emoluments Clause and problems presented by President Trump’s refusal to divest his business assets, to the ongoing questions about the communication, and possible collusion, between the Trump campaign and the Russian government while the latter was interfering in the 2016 election, the Trump Administration presents numerous Constitutional, ethical and national security challenges.

 

A thorough congressional investigation into Russia’s interference in the election must seek answers to a broad range of questions surrounding the Trump campaign and its connections to the Russian government. What did President Trump know about Russia’s efforts to hack the 2016 election? What sort of communications did Trump’s associates have with Russian operatives, and was Trump aware of them? Why does this President refuse to condemn or criticize Vladimir Putin in any way?  Does Putin have compromising information on Trump, and does this information jeopardize our national security?

 

President Trump’s ties to Russia clearly warrant public and congressional scrutiny.  That is why, in January, I introduced H.Con.Res. 15.  This resolution states that Congress should expend the resources necessary to investigate thoroughly the nature and extent of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether, and to what extent, there was collusion between persons associated with the Russian government and persons associated with President Trump and his campaign.  I introduced this resolution because I was concerned about the extent to which the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate could or would conduct a thorough investigation that was free from political influence and probed deeply into all of the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

 

Both during his campaign and since his election, Trump has surrounded himself with a Kremlin Klan – people who have extensive ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

 

  • Mike Flynn, Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor, resigned after it was revealed that he had discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December and then lied about it.  Flynn has a long history of ties to the Russian government, including a paid speech at a party for RT, a Kremlin-funded TV station, where he was photographed sitting next to Vladimir Putin.

 

  • Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was a paid lobbyist for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician in Ukraine who fled to Russia in 2014 and was subjected to U.S. sanctions related to Russian aggression in Ukraine.  Manafort has also been involved in multimillion dollar business deals with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs, which were reportedly the subject of an FBI inquiry. Manafort had to leave the Trump campaign when documents unearthed in Ukraine called attention to his work for the pro-Russia side in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. 

 

  • Carter Page, one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors during his campaign, was a frequent guest on Russian state media and had a personal stake in Russian oil and gas interests that was reportedly worth millions if sanctions could be lifted. He left the Trump campaign following a report that the CIA was investigating his Russian connections.

 

  • Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime friend, is reportedly under investigation for possible links with Russia. He has denied ever visiting Russia but admitted that he had worked in Ukraine.  Stone announced in a speech last summer that he had spoken to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Stone predicted that there would be additional leaked documents, a prediction that came true within weeks.

 

  • Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was a business partner of Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch and Putin ally, in a major financial project involving the Bank of Cyprus.

 

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a multibillion dollar agreement with Russia in 2011 on behalf of ExxonMobil for an oil drilling project in the Arctic. The project was brought to a halt in 2014 as a result of the sanctions that were imposed on Russia in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Putin personally awarded Tillerson the “Order of Friendship” in 2013.

 

The financial dealings and alliances in Trump’s Kremlin Klan present obvious conflicts of interest for the Trump Administration, and they are too significant to ignore. 

 

Make no mistake, the truth will be revealed.  If it is discovered that President Trump worked with Russia to undermine our democracy, Republicans in Congress should put country above party and move to impeach President Trump.

 

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