New America / Flickr Sen Mark Warner...
New America / Flickr

Warner just started speaking…

UPDATE:  Warner just called out Trump!  Said Trump would cross a “red line” if he attempted to interfere with Mueller.

(Will Republicans respond? Perhaps the narrative that all the GOP wanted out of Trump was the tax bill is accurate? He’s served his purpose and now they can abandon defending him?)

Here is a recording of the statement:


Here’s a partial transcript of the speech:

“I rise today concerned about the threats to the special counsel’s critical investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Over the last several weeks a growing chorus of irresponsible and reckless voices have called for President Trump to shut down Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.

At first, these calls came from the fringes of our political discourse, those who would refuse to put our country and our security before base political instincts. Earlier this year, many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle were right to push back on these misdirected calls and urge that the special counsel be allowed to do his job without interference. However, in recent weeks those voices seem to be growing in stridency and in volume. Just this weekend, one major news organization suggested the special counsel Mueller could be involved in a coup against the president. One senior adviser at the White House has now outrageously alleged that the fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning. Those statements are reckless, they are inappropriate and they are extremely worrying. They are at odds with the president’s own lawyers who have pledged to cooperate with the special counsel. Beyond being irresponsible, the seemingly coordinated nature of these claims should alarm us all.”

…and a further highlight tweeted by ABC News:


And now we’re getting some context from CNN correspondent Manu Raju: 

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NBC News has a few more highlights from Warner’s speech — and some remarks from Warner after the speech:

After his speech, Warner told reporters he was motivated to deliver his speech before lawmakers head home for Christmas because he sees a “coordinate effort to undermine Mueller, and in many ways more broadly even the FBI.”

But Warner would not discuss specifics about what he thought should be done if his red line was crossed, and Mueller was fired or those charged in the probe were pardoned.

When asked if crossing his red line was an impeachable offense, Warner said: “My hope is that other members will echo the call I made on both sides of the aisle, and I hope that the President will adhere to what he’s said recently that he has no intentions.”


THIS is why Warner’s speech is important:

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This emphasizes the point I made earlier in a comment.  Mark Warner has now made his warning to all those who would interfere with Mueller’s investigation a matter of record.

 

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