CBS’s Paula Reid Pushes Back on Schiff’s Claims of Collusion

In an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, CBS Justice correspondent Paula Reid surprised viewers by taking a firm stance against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) allegations of collusion.

In the latter part of the show, moderator Margaret Brennan pointed out the dubious nature of Schiff’s latest allegations. “[T]his allegation of money laundering on behalf of Russia through the Trump organization but he admitted he had no proof of that thus far.”

That's a pretty big bomb to lob without any corroboration, I also take issue with his claim that he has evidence of collusion,” Reid declared, suggesting “he seemed to be conflated contact with collusion.

Reid didn’t stop at that. She proceeded to dismantle Schiff’s line of argument altogether:

He says what happened at Trump Tower was collusion. He’s pointing to e-mails. Nothing was exchanged there. The same with the meeting Paul Manafort had with Konstantin Kilimnik exchanging polling data. We know there was contact, we know that but we don't know what they did with that polling data.

Concluding, “So we certainly have evidence of contact, but a criminal conspiracy so far, there has not been sufficient proof for anyone to be charged in that.

 

 

Shortly before dressing down Schiff, Reid also admitted that House Democrats purposely selected the date for their public hearing with convicted liar Michael Cohen. “And the timing was deliberate. This is an effort to undermine the President and lay out a road map for House Democrats to now pursue various investigations,” she said.

While Reid might have shot a hole in Schiff’s collusion narrative, she also hyped the other investigations being conducted by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

“Most important thing we learned from this hearing is that the President's legal problems have metastasized far beyond this special counsel investigation,” Reid noted, “and what he should be most concerned about is what is going on in the Southern District of New York, where federal prosecutors, we knew they were looking into campaign finance violations.”

Reid argued that the “paperwork” crimes might not be the “sexiest”, but they were easier to prove:

You are really going to shift the focus from the special counsel, everyone is going to be on high alert once again for that final report, but what is going on in Manhattan, that is what is really going to matter. Those crimes are also probably more easy to prove since you have cooperating witnesses and often times they may not be the sexiest crimes. Right? Possible tax fraud or insurance fraud, they are much easier to prove because they’re paperwork crimes.

“On a parallel House Democrats are going to go full steam ahead calling all of these witnesses and continuing to seek corroborating documents for what Michael Cohen said, seeing if they can confirm his story,” she added.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CBS’s Face the Nation
March 3, 2019
11:16:57 p.m. Eastern

MARGARET BRENNAN: Paula, the other personal relationship the President had we heard a lot about this week was with his former attorney Michael Cohen who was testifying while these negotiations are happening. And the President actually acknowledged, despite the 12-hour time difference, that he watched the testimony.

PAULA REID: Absolutely. And the timing was deliberate. This is an effort to undermine the President and lay out a road map for House Democrats to now pursue various investigations. Most important thing we learned from this hearing is that the President's legal problems have metastasized far beyond this special counsel investigation, and what he should be most concerned about is what is going on in the Southern District of New York, where federal prosecutors we knew they were looking into campaign finance violations.

(…)

BRENNAN: And the Judiciary Committee chairman in the house said today for him, all this amounts to obstruction of justice and, in fact, I think he is calling about 60 different individuals to try to come testify. Where does this go next?

REID: You are really going to shift the focus from the special counsel, everyone is going to be on high alert once again for that final report, but what is going on in Manhattan, that is what is really going to matter. Those crimes are also probably more easy to prove since you have cooperating witnesses and often times they may not be the sexiest crimes. Right? Possible tax fraud or insurance fraud, they are much easier to prove because they’re paperwork crimes.

On a parallel House Democrats are going to go full steam ahead calling all of these witnesses and continuing to seek corroborating documents for what Michael Cohen said, seeing if they can confirm his story. But so far, it appears that the special counsel's report may not come for a few more weeks.

BRENNAN: And we heard from Adam Schiff the chairman of the House Intelligence, this allegation of money laundering on behalf of Russia through the Trump organization but he admitted he had no proof of that thus far.

REID: That's a pretty big bomb to lob without any corroboration, I also take issue with his claim that he has evidence of collusion. He seemed to be conflated contact with collusion. He says what happened at Trump Tower was collusion. He’s pointing to e-mails. Nothing was exchanged there. The same with the meeting, Paul Manafort had with Konstantin Kilimnik exchanging polling data. We know there was contact, we know that but we don't know what they did with that polling data. So we certainly have evidence of contact, but a criminal conspiracy so far, there has not been sufficient proof for anyone to be charged in that.

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