Philadelphia-area lawmakers didn’t waste time Monday adding their voices to the growing choir of outrage after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was indicted on 12 charges related to the Russia probe.
“Today’s indictments make clear the very serious nature of this investigation,” Democratic Sen. Bob Casey said. “I continue to support bipartisan legislative efforts to protect Special Counsel Mueller’s independent investigation. Russia attacked our democracy and anyone that aided that effort must be held fully accountable.”
A deputy campaign official, Rick Gates, and a third member of President Donald Trump's campaign were also singled out Monday.
Gates is facing 12 charges in an alleged money-laundering and influence-peddling scheme involving the government of Ukraine and conspiracy against the United States.
Meanwhile, special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled a guilty plea by former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to one count of lying to FBI agents about the nature of his interactions with "foreign nationals" who he thought had close connections to senior Russian government officials.
“We have a system of justice in this country where we presume innocence until proven guilty,” Delaware Sen. Tom Carper said. “These indictments ... paint a dark picture of the people who ascended to top roles in the Trump campaign. The American people deserve the truth.”
Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester echoed the call for an independent investigation.
“The charges today underscore the importance of protecting our democracy against foreign entities and preventing people in power from using their positions against the interests of the United States,” she said.
Republicans largely chose not to discuss the indictment.
On social media, top conservative lawmakers posted about deregulation, tax reform and federal judges, but there was barely a whisper about Manafort. House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly told a Wisconsin radio station: "Nothing is going to derail what we're doing in Congress."
NBC10 reached out to six local Republicans and the GOP parties of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Only Sen. Pat Toomey and State Rep. Charlie Dent responded - both declined to comment.