The FBI indictments that were dished out Monday morning for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate are a big “nothingburger,” according to Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).
In an op-ed for USA Today, the GOP representative notes that special counsel Robert Mueller is guilty of some suspicious timing. The FBI has been on Manafort’s trail since 2014. Why wait until now to finally pursue the charges against him?
First, Franks notes, the indictment was conveniently leaked on Friday, allowing the Trump-Russia collusion rumors to gain new ground. Then, the indictments came down dangerously close to when the Republicans are trying to enact tax reform.
What has changed is that there is mounting evidence making it even clearer that this investigation is compromised. What a coincidence: Information from the grand jury was leaked (the whole point of a grand jury is secrecy) last Friday to CNN that an indictment was coming Monday, causing every political pundit in the country to surmise about Russia/Trump ties and fueling the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump won the 2016 election because of Russian influence (and not because he campaigned in Michigan and Wisconsin). This, just as the GOP is on the brink of passing landmark, historic tax reform?
Franks said the public would be better served asking questions about the Uranium One scandal, which puts the Clintons in the scandal spotlight.
On Twitter, President Trump also hoped that people would start focusing on the GOP's tax cuts for the middle class. He added that the new indictments, which don't mention his campaign, prove he is vindicated from any Russian collusion claims.
Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2017
....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2017