When the Trump administration ends, MSNBC host Joy Reid wants the trials of its key figures to begin.
Reid, a staunch opponent of President Donald Trump’s, on Tuesday proposed what she called a “Trump Crimes Commission” if Democrat Joe Biden wins the November presidential election, Mediaite reported.
The comment came during an interview with Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor under President Barack Obama, in which Reid invoked the frequent MSNBC claim that Trump is acting on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
She claimed that Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager briefly in 2016, “did to the United States what he had previously done to Ukraine. Right? He had messed with their elections in the past in order to put a Putin puppet in charge.”
Manafort was convicted of fraud in connection with his business dealings with Ukraine leaders, which took place years before he worked with the Trump campaign.
Reid then suggested Trump was giving the Russian president everything he wanted.
“And now you have a president who’s ruminating apparently on meeting with Vladimir Putin in New York, has talked about putting him back in the G-7 and seems to be doing everything — you know, if there was a Christmas list that Vladimir Putin would have put together, it couldn’t have gotten any better than what Donald Trump is doing,” she said.
Reid then talked about whether prosecutions should follow if Biden is elected.
“I wonder if you’re of the mind that if Biden wins, if Joe Biden becomes president, that there should be something like a Trump Crimes Commission,” she said to Rhodes. “Should he empanel such a commission, and do you think that members of the Trump campaign, including up to the president, should be at least looked at for prosecution?”
Rhodes, who has been a constant critic of Trump, replied that “there has to be an accountability process if Joe Biden wins to protect the integrity of our democracy.”
He insisted that was not simply a wish for Soviet-style show trials.
“It’s not about getting revenge,” Rhodes said. “It’s not about going after political opponents. That’s what Donald Trump does. It’s about sending a message that if you collude with, facilitate, coordinate with a foreign adversary in interfering in our election and hacking private materials and releasing them, that there are going to be consequences.”
Going after the president after he leaves office has also been proposed by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California.
“I don’t say this lightly: when we escape this Trump hell, America needs a Presidential Crimes Commission,” the former presidential candidate tweeted Friday. “It should be made up of independent prosecutors who look at those who enabled a corrupt president. Example 1: Sabotaging the mail to win an election.”
I don’t say this lightly: when we escape this Trump hell, America needs a Presidential Crimes Commission. It should be made up of independent prosecutors who look at those who enabled a corrupt president. Example 1: Sabotaging the mail to win an election. #SaveThePostOffice
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) August 14, 2020
Not everyone agreed.
Swalwell has called for a commission to investigate Trump’s crimes after the election. https://t.co/zIjzs9YU6b Yet Democrats insist that the Durham investigation should end and claim that the country has moved on from the Russian investigation. https://t.co/31435obqrq
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) August 15, 2020
Despite the fact that the report of former special counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Rhodes in his MSNBC interview with Reid alleged that there had been “criminal enterprise behavior and this multiyear obstruction of justice.”
Although almost four years of investigation has found no link between Trump and any improper connection with Russia, the former Obama official said, “We deserve the truth about what happened and there needs to be accountability for the people responsible. We cannot just say we’re going to turn the page. We have to deal with this as a country.
“And so I really think it’s essential that we have some accountability process if Joe Biden wins the election.”
Reid then accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of making “affirmative decisions to back off on sanctions” against Russia for meddling in American elections. She asked Rhodes if McConnell could be trusted to investigate Russia.
“No,” he replied. “One hundred percent not.”
Rhodes then said an independent prosecutor would be needed.
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