US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the arrest of Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to President Donald Trump, makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Stone was indicted late Thursday on seven charges, including false statements to Congress, obstruction of a congressional investigation and witness tampering in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
Pelosi responded to the indictment in a statement released late Friday that raised questions about Trump’s ties to Russia and vowed to hold those who lie to Congress accountable.
In the face of 37 indictments, the President’s continued actions to undermine the Special Counsel investigation raise the questions: what does Putin have on the President, politically, personally or financially? Pelosi said in the statement.
Lying to Congress and witness tampering constitute grave crimes. All who commit these illegal acts should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We cannot allow any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from appearing before Congress, she continued.
The Special Counsel investigation is working, and the House will continue to exercise our constitutional oversight responsibility and ensure that the Special Counsel investigation can continue free from interference from the White House.
Pelosi released the statement hours after Trump agreed to a bipartisan deal to fully reopen the federal government without securing funding for his proposed border wall, which had been the main sticking point in negotiations since the partial shutdown began Dec. 22.
Trump had been locked in a stalemate with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for weeks over his demand for more than $5 billion in border wall funding. The budgetary impasse saw heightened tensions between Trump and Pelosi, with the pair wrangling over the timing of Trump delivering his State of the Union and other issues.
Her statement Friday was not the first time Pelosi has raised questions about Trump’s ties to Russia and the country’s president, Vladimir Putin. On multiple occasions since the start of the Russia investigation, Pelosi has suggested that Putin has something on Trump.
Stone is the sixth associate of Trump to be charged in connection with Mueller’s sprawling probe into Russian election interference and potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
The longtime Republican strategist and former Trump campaign adviser has denied all of the charges.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria