Politics

Schmidt: Russian Interference and Possible Collusion Could Be ‘Greatest Crime in American History’

MSNBC analyst Steve Schmidt said Russia's interference in the 2016 election and its potential collusion with the Donald Trump campaign could be the "greatest crime in American history" on Tuesday.

Court filings from Robert Mueller and other federal prosecutors last week linked Trump to illegal campaign finance activity—although he wasn't accused of a crime—and also showed numerous examples of contacts between Russians and Trump campaign and transition officials. Trump has consistently denied there was any collusion between the camps in his election victory.

"We're at this moment in time right now where we have enough information to sit and wonder. Might this be the greatest crime in American history? The subversion of an American election by a foreign power, colluding with and conspiracy with the president's campaign," Schmidt said. "It's extraordinary to consider it."

Schmidt invoked George Washington's farewell address to the country at the end of his second term in the 1790's, warning about such a thing.

"It's extraordinary to consider at this moment in time, as we get ready to see a new Democratic Congress begin its oversight of this administration, as all of the details are filled in, to ponder what may have happened here," he said. "It is an extraordinary moment, I suspect, that's coming in the history of our constitutional republic."

Schmidt, the chief strategist for the John McCain presidential campaign in 2008, left the Republican Party this year over his disgust with the White House. He has suggested the U.S. is worse than Venezuela and Cuba due to its border policies and called Trump a danger to every person in the world.

Trump claimed he was cleared by filings last week in cases involving his former lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who are both now felons. However, Mueller's sprawling investigation has continued, with no indication it's concluding any time soon.