Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California) said in a recent interview that the scandal about Trump administration’s ties to Moscow could prove “as big, if not bigger than, Watergate.” The California Democrat implied that Russian President Vladimir Putin has secretly built an “entire web” which is now ensnaring officials with high positions in the new administration.
Speier cited “circumstantial evidence” to back her claims.
FBI and NSA Heads to be Grilled on Russian Interference
The comments come at a time when the NSA head Michael Rogers and FBI director James Comey are preparing to testify before the House Intelligence Committee about the ongoing probe into allegations that Trump campaign collaborated with Russia to help Trump win the presidential election.
Speier, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, believes that the two officials’ testimony could spark a scandal that would be bigger than Watergate. The representative made the remarks in an MSNBC interview Sunday.
When the host asked her what her opinion on the Russian interference in the U.S. election was, she said that she could only disclose information that was not classified “in nature.”
I can underscore for you that this is as big, if not bigger than Watergate,
When the reporter asked her to clarify the shocking statement, the Democrat, who also sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said there is evidence Putin interfered in the U.S. election, an act she called “one of the most nefarious kinds of activities.”
She noted that it is the first time Russia influences a presidential election in the U.S. Speier thinks Putin got help from some persons in the U.S. that he knew he could rely on for the job. She added that many Trump Cabinet members with “respected positions” were probably “ensnared” by the Russian leader.
The Probe Could Take Months
She also said that the House panel may need months to find all the details about Trump’s ties to Russia as the committee will likely not have all the answers “right away”. Speier also noted that Watergate took a long time, but there are many similarities between the two scandals. The congressional panel will likely “follow the money” just like investigators did during Watergate.
When the MSNBC host asked her what the consequences of a proven Russia-Trump collusion were, Speier replied that the evidence could become “grounds for impeachment.”
In the meantime, Trump dismissed the concerns about his aides’ ties to Russian operatives as “FAKE NEWS”. He noted that “[former director of National Intelligence] James Clapper and others” said they found no evidence to support the allegations that he “colluded with Russia”.
This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!,
Trump tweeted on Monday morning.
Earlier this month, Clapper said in an NBC interview that the report Comey and Rogers will provide details about did not include evidence that Trump campaign got help from Russian operatives.
On Monday, Trump said his rivals are “push[ing] the Russian story” to explain how Hillary Clinton lost the presidency. He added that Congress should instead probe Clinton campaign’s ties to Russia.
The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!,
the president tweeted.