“POTUS Has Not Impose Sanctions On Russia That Congress Has Passed; Sanders Dodges Questions In White House Briefings; White House Chief Of Staff Kelly’s Job In Jeopardy; Lawyer Pleads Guilty To Lying About Interaction With Rick Gates; Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For Election Interference Says They Communicated With Unwitting People Tied To Trump’s Campaign; Russian Bots Target Voters Throughout America”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: We do know that this indictment just like the one on Friday only reinforces our over arching point when it come to the Special Counsel’s investigation, which is that as the president has long stated, there is no evidence of collusion because none existed, And that there is going to be no findings of wrong doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So he is saying collusion and wrongdoing. Other people are thinking this is more about interference. What’s your assessment? And the White House is saying, we have nothing to do with this. Other people are reading this as I have said, no interference in the election.
ROBERT RAY, FORMER WHITEWATER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: Well as, Michael, said quite correctly initially, obviously, the first message is don’t lie to FBI investigators attached to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
And that would be true with regard to any criminal investigation. But, you know, every time you have one of these guilty pleas who are talking about false statements or obstruction of justice, it naturally raises the question, why are they lying?
What are they, you know, trying to conceal? And what are they trying to shield from investigators? That would be a natural and logical, you know, place to start.
What’s a little strange about this one is that the prosecutor who appeared in court today made it clear that this was not a cooperation agreement with this defendant. This was just a straight plea agreement.
So it doesn’t suggest at least, you know, superficially at least that this is the sort of thing that it’s cooperation leading toward, you know, other things directly.
Although, you know, it should be said that this — by the same token that any time you send the message that you are going to prosecute people for false statements or obstruction of justice, that’s clearly sending a message to other people that the investigation encounters that this kind of conduct will not be tolerated.
LEMON: So, why is the White House saying or at least — they’re saying they see no — you know, this means that there is no collusion. This brings home the point to them that there is no collusion. And why are they seeing this in that?
RAY: Well, I think they were really more talking about the indictment that proceeded last week, which was of the 13 Russians.
You know, I think it’s just — it’s important for the White House to make the point that so far as what we know publicly about the Mueller investigation, there does not appear to be any evidence of quote unquote, collusion. And that, you know, obviously is subject to further review by the Special Counsel office. That’s important point for the White House to make and they have made it. But mostly that related to the prior weeks.