Local lawmakers react to Manafort, Cohen rulings


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The revelation that two men close to President Donald Trump and his campaign have been found guilty or struck plea deals has many asking what’s next for the administration.

The impact will most directly be felt in Congress as its members head back after the summer recess. On top of legislation and the upcoming end of another fiscal year, representatives are also dealing with the distraction of the latest developments in the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases.

U.S. Reps Fred Upton and Bill Huizenga are both local Republican members of Congress and have seen how Washington has changed since the election of Donald Trump.

“We want to govern, we want to work to get things done, get the fiscal year finished,” Upton said of the Republican party. “This is obviously a pretty big distraction to say the least. But at the end of the day, does it matter this year? I’m not so sure that it does.”

Huizenga says he’s just like everyone else when it comes to seeing what will happen next.

“Having those plea bargains happening is obviously very disappointing. (Cohen’s) first six plea agreements were basically with his own personal financial misdeeds, misreporting income and misleading.

“Listening to some of the other legal folks that I have seen on TV today, there’s a real question as to what that influence and effect was with the president and how his misdeeds may or may not have been affected by this. Obviously, watching this very closely and very concerned like everybody else.”

How this will impact the President and his ability work with congress is yet to be seen.

Skeptical Democrats have already resisted cooperation with the White House now some Republicans facing midterm election could be reluctant to be too closely aligned with the president as well.

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