Congressman Nadler Statement on White House Contact with FBI Over Russia Investigation

Feb 24, 2017 Issues: Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs/Israel

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) made the following statement regarding White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus' contacts with the FBI over Trump campaign Russia communications:

"Last night's CNN report that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to discredit the New York Times and other media outlets reporting on Trump campaign officials' contacts with Russian intelligence operatives is beyond troubling and deeply chilling.  

"First, every Attorney General since the Carter Administration has issued strict guidelines to prevent exactly this kind of pressure from the White House.  Even the appearance of inappropriate political influence undercuts the integrity of the FBI and the Justice Department.

"Second, the fact that Chief of Staff Priebus took such an extraordinary action suggests that the White House is increasingly desperate about the state of this investigation.  The evidence is piling up, and it points to direct collusion between the Trump campaign and the government of Vladimir Putin.  The call to the FBI again points to the need for a wide-ranging bi-partisan investigation by Congress. Such an investigation is further warranted because Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was an early supporter of President Trump and a senior member of the Trump campaign, refuses to recuse himself from these matters.

"At the very least, Chief of Staff Priebus' behavior warrants disciplinary action in its own right.  But we must also know whether he was in any way instructed to make those contacts by his superior, the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

"This Tuesday, February 28th the House Judiciary Committee will consider H. Res 111, a Resolution of Inquiry I introduced to request basic information for Congress from the Department of Justice related to the President's business entanglements and ties to Russia. Given these new revelations, it is absolutely critical that the American public knows that we in Congress are doing everything in our power to get at the truth.  I hope that at least some of my Republican colleagues on the Committee understand that an abdication of this responsibility is a direct dereliction of our oath of office."