A Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee has asserted that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian government's role during the 2016 election will lead to prosecutions within the Trump administration. Mueller is probing whether any Trump campaign associates colluded with Russian officials to subvert the 2016 presidential race.
On Nov. 20, Democratic Rep. Denny Heck of Washington stated during an interview that the federal investigation into Russia was progressing at a rapid clip. Heck also signaled that the probe could extend to U.S. President Donald Trump.
"Look, this thing is moving and it's moving very fast and it's not moving in a good direction for the president," Heck told MSNBC.
Heck reiterated his belief that the federal investigation into Russia would lead to prison sentences for members of the Trump administration. On April 4, the congressman said: "I will be surprised if people don't end up going to jail."
"I'm going to take you back to something I said on your program in the spring that was a little controversial at the time, but I'm going to reiterate it today: people are going to jail," Heck said during his latest interview.
"I'm also going to go on record here today and say additional people are going to be indicted ... When there's smoke there's fire and there's so much smoke you can't see the hand in front of your face," the congressman added.
On Oct. 30, the Mueller team indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, for several financial crimes and conspiracy against the U.S. Both Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to the charges. On the same day, the Department of Justice disclosed that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian officials during the presidential race, The New York Times reports.
On Nov. 14, Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified during the House Intelligence Committee during an oversight hearing. While Sessions had previously stated under oath that he was unaware of any contact between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials, he disclosed before the panel that he now remembered Papadopoulos proposing a meeting between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in March 2016, according to USA Today.
Sessions added that he could not recall what Papadopoulos had specifically said but asserted he had "pushed back against [Papadopoulos'] suggestion that I thought may have been improper."
Heck, a member of the House committee, blasted Sessions' latest testimony.
"[Sessions] is suffering from some of the most profoundly selective amnesia of any human being I've ever met in my life," Heck said. "He seems to never quite remember the things that might incriminate him."
On Nov. 16, sources familiar with the Russia investigation disclosed that the Mueller team was preparing to interview White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who is considered to be among Trump's closest confidantes, Politico reports.
On Nov. 19, it was disclosed that the Mueller team had directed the DOJ to turn over any department documents related to Sessions' recusal from the Russia investigation and the dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey, according to ABC News.