CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote Friday that House Democrats are not just planning to step over Donald Trump’s supposed “red line” — but that they are going to “obliterate” it.
Toobin recalled in his New Yorker column that in 2017, the president told the New York Times that if special counsel Robert Mueller investigated his family finances, he’d be crossing a “red line.”
It’s unclear whether Mueller has investigated Trump’s finances — but the president’s warnings against doing so did catch the attention of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Democrat poised to become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
In an interview with Toobin, Schiff explained that his committee’s job is different from Mueller’s in one significant way: Congressional committees “are supposed to monitor the executive branch and expose wrongdoing.”
“The one that has always concerned me is the financial issues, which obviously have come much to the fore this week,” the congressman told the reporter soon after Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow.
“At the end of the day, what should concern us most is anything that can have a continuing impact on the foreign policy and national-security policy of the United States,” Schiff said, adding that “if the Russians were laundering money for the Trump Organization, that would be totally compromising.”
The congressman, Toobin wrote, has hypothesized that Trump not only “went beyond using his campaign and the Presidency as a vehicle for advancing his business interests,” but also “shaped policy with an eye to expanding his fortune.”
Schiff will soon go from having an 11-person staff as ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee to directing 25 as its chairman — and will get to the bottom of whether his hypothesis is correct.
Read the entire interview via The New Yorker.