Schiff to special counsel targets: ‘Anyone who gets indicted by Bob Mueller goes down’

Rep. Adam Schiff on Sunday said the plea deal struck by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sends a clear message to those wrapped up in the Russia investigation: “You better get to the special counsel and make your deal now.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Schiff said the special counsel’s track record shows that “anyone who gets indicted by Bob Mueller goes down,” adding that “the longer you wait to come clean, the worse deal you’re going to get, the more time you’re going to face.”

Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Manafort, already convicted on eight counts of fraud and facing a second federal trial, is “corrupt,” as are the other members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle who have flipped to become cooperating witnesses.

“All of these folks have pled guilty to lying and fraud; they’re all tainted witnesses," Schiff . "So, as a prosecutor, you only rely on them to the extent you can corroborate them."

But Manafort, a longtime GOP operative who joined the Trump campaign at a critical time in 2016 and was present during a Russia meeting at Trump Tower, “is a key person to help us unwind whether this is the most improbable string of unlikely coincidences or whether this was an active conspiracy,” Schiff said.

The California congressman also said that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s claims that Manafort’s plea deal would not disqualify him from a presidential pardon are a sign that “the Trump team is terrified about what Manafort may have to say” and that he believed Manafort would have held out for a pardon after a second trial, which is now off with the plea deal.

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