Quigley on MSNBC: Trump Associates Have a Problem with the Truth, But HPSCI Will Keep Seeking It
JANSING: President Trump is saying, this morning, there's no reason for the House Intelligence Committee to look into what he calls his “financial and personal life.” Something the President previously declared a “red line,” but it's a line the Democrats plan to step right over. A senior Democrat on that committee, Eric Swalwell put it colorfully this morning telling Axios, “We're going to take an MRI to any Russian financing that the Trump Organization and the President may have had.” Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois who is on the House Intelligence Committee. Good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
QUIGLEY: Thank you. Good morning.
JANSING: So you know what the President said. He says you're harassing him, that you're looking at every aspect of his life. Is this harassment? Is this Presidential harassment on a level we've never seen before?
QUIGLEY: 45 years ago, Richard Nixon used the State of the Union address to talk about the nation's prosperity and to warn off Congress on that pesky Watergate investigation. Obviously, Congressional Democrats weren't intimidated by the President's words then, and they're certainly not going to be intimidated now, but the President has to recognize this is probably the most opaque administration in our nation's history; and the President's decisions seem to be intertwined with some of those financial issues. It's completely fair for Congress to look at that and begin to understand whether or not the President of the United States was in any way compromised by financial matters.
JANSING: What is the indication you have that makes this investigation important as you see it? What do you need to know, and what can you tell us that you already know that's led us in this direction?
QUIGLEY: Well, let's begin with aspects of Trump Tower Moscow. We now know the President of the United States was moving forward on that deal, seeking approval from the Russians to make money. At the exact same time, he was criticizing and questioning the credibility of NATO, clearly a Putin talking point. He was doing this at the same time he was asking the Russians to go after Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. He was doing this at the exact same time --
JANSING: So, how do you get to the heart of that, Congressman?--
QUIGLEY: He was talking about removing sanctions.
JANSING: Who do you want to talk to? Who do you need to talk to? Who do you think maybe has not told the truth so far?
QUIGLEY: Let's just begin with who we need to talk to and the information we need. I think we need to have serious subpoenas, which we didn't in the first two years under the Republican administration to get the documents necessary to understand how Trump finances work with, for example, Deutsche Bank. Who was truthful? Who was not? Look, the list is growing of people we know who were not truthful: Mr. Cohen, Mr. Manafort, questions of Mr. Stone, Mr. Flynn. These are people who have either acknowledged it or have been charged with not being candid. I think there are several others whose circumstances, subsequent to their testimony, have raised the question of their candor before the House. We know the Trump associates have a problem with the truth. They seem to be following the President's lead there. We need to bring documents and people back before the Committee to make them answer these questions so the American public has some idea of what really took place.
JANSING: Are you concerned at all because, obviously, the Intel Committee is not the only investigation going on here. We had reporting from our Kasie Hunt at the beginning of the show about how Nancy Pelosi and the various committee chairmans are sort of coordinating how they approach all this. Having said that, are you concerned at all that the voters who put this majority into the House, that independents who are going to be making their decisions on 2020 might see this as politically motivated, politically tainted? Where do you draw the line on what's legit and what isn’t.
QUIGLEY: Look, this is the most important investigation of our lifetime, and I lived through Watergate. We have the very real possibility…what we know is that the Russians attacked our democratic process. They did it to help one candidate and hurt another. I think there's a very real possibility that the Trump associates were conspiring with them to accomplish this mission. That's important stuff. I get the American public is impatient to find out what took place. We now have the gavels for the first time. We're going to find out what took place and share that information with them.
JANSING: Congressman Mike Quigley, thank you so much for taking the time to talk.