MSNBC / YouTube Rep Joaquin Castro President Donald Trump...
MSNBC / YouTube

Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20) was on MSNBC last night with host Joy Reid to discuss the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Russian interference of the 2016 election, particularly the call from the Fusion GPS founders to release their 21 hours of testimony and let America hear the truth about the “most troubling business past” of Donald Trump. Castro is unable to reveal many of the details of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation, but he was able to answer some simple yes and no questions from Joy Reid. This exchange seems incredibly important:

CASTRO: And some of this isa lot of this has been made public already and so of course I can’t talk about what I heard in the interview, but I can tell you that my impression after sitting through those hours of that interview is that the president should be concerned about issues of money laundering, of collusion, and of obstruction of justice. I say that, that’s my impression not only from hearing that witness but also many of the other witnesses that have come before the committee. So this White House should be nervous about what has been told to the committee.

REID: And do you believe, while as you said you can’t necessarily tell us exactly what you heard in those hearings, do you believe that you heard evidence of crimes committed by members of this administration?

CASTRO: Yes

Emphasis added. Money laundering, collusion and obstruction of justice. Rep. Castro says the most important thing we can do in 2018 is take back the House and launch a legitimate and thorough investigation into these crimes. Watch the segment and see the full transcript below.

REID: Now, the dossier not all of it has been proven and certainly not fake. Parts of it have been corroborated. The founders right that our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports that the bureau received from other sources. They also write that they charged Christopher Steele with looking into why Trump repeatedly sought, quote, to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state. And that, quote, what came back shocked us. It also seemed to shock Steele, a former British intelligence officer, who went to the FBI on his own in an effort to address what he saw as a crime in progress. Joining me now is representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas and a member of the House Intelligence Committee which interviewed Glenn Simpson for nearly seven hours in November. Congressman, thank you for being here. We know that Republicans, including from the various committees in the House and Senate, have been selectively leaking parts of the testimony of these two gentlemen from Fusion GPS to right-wing media outlets. Why then do Democrats not just release the entire 21 hours of testimony?

CASTRO: Well, I said from the beginning very consistently and others have as well that all of this, or as much of this as possible, including the interviews with the witnesses, should be made public and should be done out in the open. And so if Democrats had the power to make some of the things public then we very likely would. Unfortunately, as you know, we’re in the minority party right now in Congress and so that requires the permission of the chairman and of the Republican majority. So far they have been unwilling to release the transcript of Fusion GPS and of course other witnesses.

REID: So the ranking member, for instance, of the House Intelligence Committee does not have the authority to on their own release the transcripts? Republicans are already doing it. They’re just doing it through selective leaks.

CASTRO: Yeah. No, it’s my understanding that our ranking member, Democrat Adam Schiff from California, doesn’t have the unilateral authority to release that transcript. That’s right.

​​​​​​​REID: And so here are some of the questions that have come up. From the op-ed from the Fusion GPS co-founders, they said the following. This is from the op-ed.

We suggested investigators look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump’s businesses. Congress appears uninterested in that tip. Reportedly ours are the only bank records the house intelligence committee has subpoenaed.

That sounds like persecution of two witnesses that were brought before the committee. Is there anything that the minority can doon that committee to stop the majority, the Republicans, from essentially subpoenaing the bank records of their witnesses rather thanof the Trump campaign?

CASTRO: Well, what we can do is win in the 2018 elections, take back the House of Representatives and then do a thorough investigation starting next January. But until then, a lot of this requires the cooperation of the chairman and of the Republican majority. They haveI guess the fault that I find there is that sometimes they have been unwilling to go down certain investigatory roads that I believe that they should go down. I think many Americans if they were able to listen to the testimony of Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS would be very troubled about a lot of the things they hear. And some of this isa lot of this has been made public already and so of course I can’t talk about what I heard in the interview, but I can tell you that my impression after sitting through those hours of that interview is that the president should be concerned about issues of money laundering, of collusion, and of obstruction of justice. I say that, that’s my impression not only from hearing that witness but also many of the other witnesses that have come before the committee. So this White House should be nervous about what has been told to the committee.

​​​​​​​REID: And do you believe, while as you said you can’t necessarily tell us exactly what you heard in those hearings, do you believe that you heard evidence of crimes committed by members of this administration?

​​​​​​​CASTRO: Yes.

​​​​​​​REID: And if that is the case, do you believe that your Republican colleagues understand those to have been crimes, potential crimes?

​​​​​​​CASTRO: I can’t speak to their understanding, and quite honestly, I think some folks have decided to just bury their heads in the sand. I’ve heard the line again and again that there was no collusion, for example. But, you know, there’s three investigations going on here, at least three. You know, the Mueller investigation, the House, the Senate, and then actually the Senate judiciary so four. But the only person with prosecutorial powers is Robert Mueller. For the House and the Senate, it’s a matter of collecting all the facts, figuring out who may have been responsible for cooperating with the Russians who interfered with our 2016 election, and then making recommendations to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Of course we can’t go out and prosecute anybody, but we also want to make sure that we’re following all the leads that come up from information that’s given to us in these interviews. A big concern that I have is that there’s not been enough resources or energy or time that’s been committed to tracking down the leads that are being given to us. That’s a big concern. And if this investigation wraps up within a month or two, then I’m fairly confident we will not have followed all those leads that we should be following.

​​​​​​​REID: Wow. Representative Joaquin Castro , thank you very much for being with me. Appreciate it.

CASTRO: Thank you.

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