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South Carolina delegation mostly quiet on Washington indictments

October 31, 2017 GMT

South Carolina lawmakers are being reserved or mostly quiet on the indictments and legal problems facing three members of President Donald Trump’s campaign circle.

“The American people deserve the truth, wherever it lies,” U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said in a statement to The Post and Courier late Monday night.

“While the charges against Mr. Manafort pre-date the campaign, it is important individuals under investigation continue to cooperate with Mr. Mueller,” he said.

The comment covered the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller covering the indictment of Paul Manafort and longtime deputy Rick Gates, both of whom served as senior figures in the Trump campaign.

They face charges of money laundering and failing to file as foreign agents.

A third figure, campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos, has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about overtures to Russian officials during last year’s presidential campaign.

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Another part of the story is two bills introduced in the Senate that would shield Mueller if Trump moves to fire him.

On Capitol Hill, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said he didn’t see any signs of such a move coming out of the White House, indicting there was no heightened concern to move quickly.

“I don’t feel an urgent need to pass that law until you show me a reason Mr. Mueller’s in jeopardy,” Graham, R-S.C., told reporters, according to Politico.

“I don’t think anybody in their right mind in the White House would think about replacing Mr. Mueller,” said Graham, who co-authored the bill.

Mueller’s probe is focused on whether any Americans had a role in promoting or knowledge of Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, particularly from with the Trump campaign as collusion.

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which is Congress’ investigatory body, also declined comment. His office said he had read the indictments and referenced his recent appearances on media shows.

“I would encourage my Republican friends — give the guy a chance to do his job,” he said of Mueller on Fox News. “The result will be known by the facts, by what he uncovers. The personalities involved are much less important to me than the underlying facts. So, I would — I would say give the guy a chance to do his job.”

The offices of U.S. Reps. Jeff Duncan and Mark Sanford, both South Carolina Republicans, did not respond.