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Cummings Issues Statement on Guilty Plea and Indictments of Top Trump Campaign Officials

Oct 30, 2017
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on Guilty Plea and Indictments of Top Trump Campaign Officials

 

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 30, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement on the guilty pleaof Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos:

“The guilty plea against Mr. Papadopoulos confirms that while he was serving as a campaign advisor to Donald Trump, he communicated extensively with Russians who claimed they had dirt on Hillary Clinton, highlighted his Russian connections to campaign supervisors and the President himself, and then lied about it to the FBI.  These stark admissions directly contradict the President’s blanket denial on February 16 that nobody on his team had anything to do with the Russians.  These are no longer mere allegations—they are damning facts established in a guilty plea by one of the President’s own advisors.”

Ranking Member Cummings also issued the following statement on the indictment of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates:

“According to this indictment, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were engaging in this criminal conspiracy against the United States—during the entire time they served in high-ranking positions on President Trump’s campaign—to conceal millions of dollars they received from a Russian ally.”

According to the Papadopoulos guilty plea, which was entered in secret on October 5, 2017, he confirmed an extensive timeline of contacts from March 24 to August 15, 2016, with three Russian nationals, including one who claimed he had connections in the Russian government with “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.”

The guilty plea states that Papadopoulos told then-candidate Donald Trump himself and other campaign officials during a meeting on March 31, 2016, that “he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.”

In contrast, President Trump held a lengthy press conference on February 16, 2017, after firing Michael Flynn for failing to disclose his communications with the Russian Ambassador, during which the President claimed:  “I have nothing to do with Russia.  To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.”

According to the indictments against Manafort and Gates, they engaged in their conspiracy against the United States from 2006 through 2017—including the entire period they both served as top officials on Donald Trump’s campaign.

According to the indictments, Manafort concealed the fact that he was an agent of a foreign government allied with the Russians, in part by making false statements while acting as Chairman of Donald Trump’s campaign when he distributed talking points on August 16, 2016, as part of a “false and misleading cover story.”

Manafort and Gates are also accused of a conspiracy to launder money from 2006 through 2016, including concealing $18 million in payments from a foreign government and political party allied with the Russians.  

On March 28, 2016, Trump hired Manafort to lead the delegate effort at the convention.  On May 19, 2016, Trump promoted Manafort to Campaign Chairman and Chief Strategist.  On August 19, 2016, Manafort resigned from the campaign.

Cummings and top Democrats first raised concerns about Manafort, Gates, Flynn, and others in a letter to the FBI in August 2016.  

Unfortunately, Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy is blocking requests to conduct basic oversight of President Trump and his top advisors while announcing new investigations of Hillary Clinton:

  • Gowdy has refused a request for a subpoena to compel the White House to produce documents it is withholding relating to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn that were requested on a bipartisan basis on March 22, 2017.
  • Gowdy has refused a request for a subpoena to compel the White House to produce documents it is withholding relating to private email accounts used by the President’s top aides.
  • Gowdy has refused to even request documents relating to the use of private email accounts, non-governmental servers, and private domains by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who reportedly defied the Committee’s direction and relocated their accounts to the Trump Organization after being directed not to relocate them.

 

115th Congress