Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Demands that Congress Pass Legislation to Protect the Special Counsel Following Reports that Former Trump Campaign Manager met with Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Nov 28, 2018
Press Release

PRESS STATEMENT HEADER

For Immediate Release                                                                  Contact: Robin Chand

November 27, 2018                                                                                    (202) 225–3816

Press Statement

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Demands that Congress Pass Legislation to Protect the Special Counsel Following Reports that Former Trump Campaign Manager met with Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Jackson Lee—“If true, this represents an extraordinary breach of our democratic process.  This news coincides with news that the President has submitted limited written responses about whether he or associates of his campaign conspired with the Russian federation to subvert the most recent presidential election.  The news also comes as the Country has been witnessing an increase of erratic tweets coming from the President, lamenting the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, and the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations issued this statement following news that former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2013, 2015 and 2016:   

“Earlier today, The Guardian Newspaper reported that former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, a convicted felon currently awaiting sentencing in two separate jurisdictions, met with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, many times in the years leading up to the 2016 elections.  The inference is clear: the meetings were held to discuss the eventual role that WikiLeaks could and did play in the selective dissemination of stolen emails belonging to the DNC and associates of the Clinton campaign, including chairman John Podesta.   If true, this represents an extraordinary breach of our democratic process.  This news coincides with news that the President has submitted limited written responses about whether he or associates of his campaign conspired with the Russian federation to subvert the most recent presidential election.  The news also comes as the Country has been witnessing an increase of erratic tweets coming from the President, lamenting the Special Counsel’s investigation.

“These developments suggest that the Special Counsel’s investigation is likely reaching corners of the President’s conduct which the latter would just as well leave uninvestigated.  Moreover, it suggests that the President feels increasingly threatened by what the Special Counsel has uncovered or may do so in the future.  These developments increase the likelihood that the President may do something to imperil the Special Counsel’s investigation. 

“Indeed, the work done by the Special Counsel is critical to Americans’ confidence in our election systems, to ensure that the interference by another hostile, foreign adversary does not again occur, and so that those nefariously involved in the 2016 election are brought to justice.   I have long been concerned with ensuring the special counsel is permitted to continue his investigation.  This is why over a year ago, I introduced H.R. 3654, the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act, which garnered the support of over 150 members of Congress.  I am also proud that substantial portions of H.R. 3654 were incorporated into H.R. 5476, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which I introduced alongside Rep. Jerry Nadler, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Steve Cohen, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.  If enacted into law, H.R. 5476 would permit an affected Special Counsel to require judicial ratification of any termination, during the pendency of which the investigation would be stayed, and immune from any interference from the President, or others. 

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Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget. She is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.