DNC’s Perez: We Have Seen ‘Mountain of Evidence of Collusion’ Between Trump Campaign, Russia
CHUCK TODD: All right, let me start with uh-- this. Why this lawsuit right now? And I ask this because the president toys with interfering with the Mueller probe and Democrats are quick to say, "Let it run its course." This to me is a lawsuit. You're making a claim that Mueller hasn't made yet. Why not wait for the Mueller probe to end before you file your lawsuit?
DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: Sure. Well, there are three basic reasons. Number one, you have to file claims in a timely manner under statute of limitations. I don't know when Director Mueller's investigation is going to end, nor would I ever ask him because I want him to do a good, thorough job. And so we need to protect our rights under the appropriate statute of limitations.
CHUCK TODD: When was this going to expire? How close to this deadline are we?
DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: Well if we-- well, again, I don't know when Director Mueller is going to file his complaint. Or whatever action he takes.
CHUCK TODD: But you believe you couldn't have filed a lawsuit if--
DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: Well, again--
CHUCK TODD: --you waited a couple weeks?
DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: --well, again, but we don't know when Director Mueller is going to act. And so, this notion-- And, again, I don't want to ask him when he's going to act. And so we have to protect our rights. But secondly, we've done our homework, Chuck. A year ago people were saying, "File a lawsuit then." And I didn't do that because I believe in doing your homework. And over the course of the last year we have seen, I think, a mountain of evidence of collusion between the campaign and the Russians to basically affect our democracy. And so we did our homework and we brought our civil case. And then finally I'm worried about these mid-term elections because they did this with impunity. You know, General McMaster said that we- we haven’t-- we failed to impose sufficient costs on Russia. Well, we know why I think they failed to impose sufficient costs on Russia for this dramatic and reckless and- and unprecedented attack, because this administration is compromised. I want to make sure we send a very clear signal.
CHUCK TODD: I want to-- I'm curious of- of who you chose to include in the lawsuit and who you didn't. You have Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone. You don't have Michael Flynn. He's somebody that- that's been charged. I'm curious why has Michael Flynn not included? No Steve Bannon, no Corey Lewandowski, no Kellyanne Conway, three other people who served as sort of campaign chairs or managers. But you do have Manafort. What was the decision making to go with who got in and who didn't?
DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: Well, we brought a case against the people that we feel there's sufficient evidence to move forward in a civil case. That doesn't preclude us from moving to amend the case as we discover more evidence.
CHUCK TODD: But you don't think there's enough evidence on Michael Flynn, huh?
DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: Well, again, we want to make sure-- I'm a big believer in making sure that I have confidence in every aspect of my case. And in the Watergate case that was brought by Larry O'Brien, former chair of the DNC, that complaint was amended over time. I am confident that we will file an amended complaint over time.