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Heinrich: Bring Me Manafort

Heinrich: Bring Me Manafort

Manafort's plans for Putin are 'strikingly similar to the actual tactics we know the Russians employed' against U.S. - Heinrich

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich wants Donald Trump’s former campaign manager hauled before Congress to testify about his ties to Russia.

U.S. Sen. martin HeinrichThe call by the New Mexico Democrat followed a report by The Associated Press that revealed that Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire a decade ago to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and had “proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics”

In a prepared statement, Heinrich said he was alarmed by reports claiming Manafort “created and then sold the Russians what appears to be a game plan to undermine democracy and further the interests of the Russian government – including inside the United States.”

“His reported recommendation to use political campaign tactics, establish front groups, and manipulate the press are strikingly similar to the actual tactics we know the Russians employed to undermine our presidential election. The Trump Administration’s attempt to now distance itself from its former campaign chairman is indicative of how serious and disturbing these revelations are and raises serious questions about Russia’s relationship with the Trump campaign,” Heinrich said.

Paul Manafort 2“I am calling for Paul Manafort to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee and give the American people the answers they deserve,” Heinrich said.

Heinrich is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government. The House Intelligence Committee is conducting a similar probe in which FBI Director James Comey testified on March 20 that the FBI is investigating “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Various news media have been pulling on the threads of  Trump’s personal and corporate ties to people and offshore financial institutions reputed to have engaged in money-laundering for people close to Putin.

Trump ‘wiretap’ claim

Donald J. TrumpWhile Comey testified that Trump wasn’t the target of “wiretapping” as Trump has claimed, it now appears the situation isn’t that clear-cut.

On March 22, The Washington Post reported that House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes went to the White House to tell Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies may have picked up communications involving the President-elect as part of court-approved surveillance of foreign intelligence targets in the period between Trump’s election and his inauguration.

It is not uncommon for U.S. nationals to be incidentally eavesdropped upon while communicating with foreigners under surveillance by U.S. agencies.


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Juani Hopwood is Online Editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach her at juani@freeabq.com.