Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) isn’t a colorful or flashy Democrat with the best soundbites or fiery outbursts in hearings. He’s a quiet and methodical leader who has cautiously watched the disasters at the White House unfold over the last two years from the Intelligence Committee. Wednesday, that changed.
“So, [Maria Butina] is just one of many,” Heck began, referring to the growing group of people who had contacts with Russians on the Trump team. “We have now documented that there were at least 16 Trump operatives who had communication or interaction with Russians or Russian operatives during the course of the campaign, so she doesn’t stand out all by herself. This was a part of a pattern that speaks to the Russian effort to, again, steal our election in 2016.”
But that’s when Heck announced he was done with speculation and said he’s seen enough.
“Erin, I’m going to say something tonight I haven’t said before,” the Congressman continued. “I’ve been talking about the Russia investigation for nearly two years now since I went on the Intel Committee, but in light of what happened today, in light of all the events of the last couple weeks and all the sentencing memos files, 36 indictments, 3 prison determines and the like, I’m prepared to say something I’ve never said: The writing’s on the wall. The walls are closing in. This is the beginning of the end for the Trump Administration.”
CNN host Erin Burnett followed up, asking if he means impeachment or the end of his term.
“I don’t know precisely what it means except what I intend for it to mean is this, that the Mueller investigation is getting closer and closer,” Heck went on. “Now, they now have the president as an unindicted co-conspirator for campaign finance laws, breaking campaign finance laws, but we also know that they’re going down two other tracks. They’re going down, of course, the Russian interference track, which was their core mission.”
He explained that “collusion” is already clear and the rest is up to special counsel Robert Mueller.
“They’re also exploring as we full well know obstruction of justice activity on the part of either the president or people on his behalf,” Heck said. “I don’t think that Bob Mueller’s going to be deterred here, Erin. It’s interesting to note that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Mutters Ridge in Vietnam, where a very young second lieutenant, Mueller, won the bronze star for valor.”
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