Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich questioned the timing of Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officer while noting on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Friday that the special counsel’s latest action might actually help President Donald Trump.
“They raise two questions in my mind,” Gingrich told host Laura Ingraham.”The first is why is it that Mueller would decide to release this just before the president sees Putin. It’s odd timing. I don’t frankly care. Personally, I think it actually strengthens Trump’s hand to walk in and say, Putin, we just indicted 12 of your people.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that Mueller indicated the Russians as part of his investigation of allegations that aides to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests.
Earlier this week, Trump attending meetings in Brussels with U.S. European allies in The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). There and Thursday and Friday in Britain, Trump has sparred with European leaders on a range of issues from trade to defense spending.
But his meeting Monday in Helsinki, Finland, has drawn intense speculation and interest because of the Mueller investigation and the continuing controversy about the collusion allegations.
Gingrich also pointed to some ways Trump can take advantage of his face-to-face conversation with Putin.
“But the second question I raise, which is a very interesting question, if we are going to start going after people for hacking the United States, there are so many Chinese that should be indicted,” Gingrich said. “I think this is a very serious standard to start setting, probably the right standard. But it does mean we are going to go after other country’s nationals in their own homeland and indict them. That will be a big change.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and others have called on the president to cancel the Helsinki meeting in the wake of the indictments. Schumer added that they shouldn’t meet until the Russia government takes clear steps to prove that it won’t interfere in future elections.
Similarly, Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said Trump should demand that Putin extradite the 12 Russians named in Mueller’s indictment.
The Mueller indictment contends the 12 Russians conspired to hack into the computer networks of the …