‘We can’t have McCarthy­ism’

Probe into Trump-Rus­sia ties can’t be­come witch­hunt, House In­tel­li­gence chair­man warns

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

House In­tel­li­gence chair­man Devin Nunes said Mon­day that Congress should not be­gin a McCarthy-style in­ves­ti­ga­tion based on news re­ports that a few Amer­i­cans with ties to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had con­tacted Rus­sians dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

“I want to warn all of you,” Nunes, R-Calif., told re­porters on Capi­tol Hill. “We can’t have McCarthy­ism back in this place. We can’t have the gov­ern­ment, the U.S. gov­ern­ment or the Congress, leg­isla­tive branch of gov­ern­ment, chas­ing down Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, haul­ing them be­fore the Congress as if they’re some se­cret Rus­sian agent.”

“I want to be very care­ful that we can’t just go on a witch hunt against Amer­i­cans be­cause they ap­pear in a news story some­where,” Nunes said.

Nunes’s com­ments came on the same day that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion was push­ing back against re­ports that Trump aides were in con­tact with Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. “I haven’t called Rus­sia in 10 years,” Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said.

Trump’s com­ment came in re­sponse to a ques­tion from a re­porter about whether he would sup­port a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor to in­ves­ti­gate Rus­sia’s hack­ing in the elec­tion and po­ten­tial con­tacts be­tween his cam­paign ad­vis­ers and Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence agents dur­ing the elec­tion. The pres­i­dent did not say whether he sup­ported a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor.

Trump has de­nied know­ing that any of his cam­paign ad­vis­ers were in con­tact with Rus­sians dur­ing the cam­paign. He has also de­nied that he has fi­nan­cial ties or other con­nec­tions to Rus­sia. The White House has en­listed the help of the FBI and law­mak­ers to counter news re­ports about con­tacts.

Nunes said he knows of no ev­i­dence that Trump aides were in con­tact with Rus­sian agents. He said he will con­tinue to ask for ev­i­dence. Nunes is lead­ing one of three con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Trump’s Rus­sia ties.

“We still have not seen any ev­i­dence of any­one that’s — from the Trump cam­paign or any other cam­paign for that mat­ter — that’s com­mu­ni­cated with the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment,” Nunes said.

He said that doesn’t mean the con­tacts don’t ex­ist and that the com­mit­tee will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate.

AP PHOTO

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speaks to a meet­ing of the Na­tional Gov­er­nors As­so­ci­a­tion, Mon­day, Feb. 27, 2017, at the White House in Wash­ing­ton.

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