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Heck: Beginning of the end for Trump admin

Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) comments on the sentencing of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former attorney, to three years in prison for crimes that included campaign finance violations in paying to silence women who claimed affairs with Trump.

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 4:39 PM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 4:39 PM

Rep. Denny Heck said Wednesday that recent indictments and sentencing memos show "the walls are closing in and this is the beginning of the end for the Trump administration."

"In light of what happened today," the Washington state Democrat told Erin Burnett on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," "in light of all the events of the last couple of weeks and all the sentencing memos that have been filed now -- 36 indictments, three prison terms and the like -- I'm prepared to say something I've never said: The writing's on the wall, the walls are closing in and this is the beginning of the end for the Trump administration."

Heck, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russian operatives and Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition is "getting closer and closer."

Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump's former longtime attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violations and tax evasion. Cohen implicated the President in August when he pleaded guilty in federal court and said that "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," he had kept information that would have harmed Trump from becoming public during the campaign.

"They now have the President as an unindicted co-conspirator for campaign finance laws, breaking campaign finance laws," Heck told CNN.

Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina is slated to appear Thursday in DC federal court to plead guilty to conspiracy as part of a deal with prosecutors. Butina was making inroads with the National Rifle Association and prominent conservatives to try to bolster Russian interests. Federal investigators will likely try to figure out how she fit into the larger picture of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Heck said Butina is just "one of many. We have now documented that there were at least 16 Trump operatives who had communication or interaction with Russians or Russian operatives during the course of the campaign, so she doesn't stand out all by herself."

Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort also pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering, while publicly admitting he had committed several other financial and lobbying crimes. He separately was found guilty by a jury in Virginia of eight financial fraud charges related to his Ukrainian lobbying proceeds. Mueller's office is considering bringing more criminal charges against Manafort after it accused him of violating his plea deal to cooperate with prosecutors.

Heck told Burnett that in addition to Russian interference, Mueller is "exploring, as we full well know, obstruction of justice activity on the part of either the President or people on his behalf."

"I don't think that Bob Mueller's going to be deterred here," Heck said. "It's interesting to note that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the battle of Mutter's Ridge in Vietnam, where a very young second lieutenant, Mueller, won the Bronze Star for valor."

Trump brushed off a question about his associates' interactions with Russians before and during his presidential campaign as just "peanut stuff" during an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

"The stuff you're talking about is peanut stuff," the President told Reuters.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111322

Reported Deaths: 3202
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
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Forrest296377
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Washington252197
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Panola166337
Leflore160787
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Warren152755
Monroe145972
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Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
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Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
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Wayne98721
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Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
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Morgan396833
Houston364632
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Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
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Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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