US House Democrats Reopen Russiagate Probe, Send Mueller Dozens of Transcripts

07 February, 2019, 04:42 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Donald Trump Adam Schiff tweets

Earlier Wednesday, Trump had asked where Schiff got the authority to investigate him and accused the congressman of just trying to raise his political profile.

"The President's actions and posture towards Russian Federation during the campaign, transition, and administration have only heightened fears of foreign financial or other leverage over President Trump and underscore the need to determine whether he or those in his Administration have acted in service of foreign interests since taking office", Schiff said in a statement announcing the expanded investigation.

In a statement released prior to the committee's meeting Wednesday, Republicans, led by Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-California, called for the transcripts' immediate release, citing an "unacceptable delay" in their review. Republicans ended that probe in March, concluding there was no evidence of conspiracy or collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign.

Since then, both Cohen and Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone have been charged with lying to the panel.

Schiff also told reporters Wednesday that the House Intelligence Committee will not be "intimidated or threatened" by Trump's comments.

Schiff told reporters this will "allow us to investigate any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the president or anyone in the administration".

The Committee also voted to release all investigative transcripts to the public in order to provide us "with greater transparency and insight into Russia's operations and the USA government's response".

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Schiff said that while special counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation into the episode, the intelligence committee "must fulfill its responsibility to provide the American people with a comprehensive accounting of what happened, and what the United States must do to protect itself from future interference and malign influence operations".

Cohen was scheduled to speak with the committee on Thursday.

Cohen is due back in front of the House committee on Friday for a closed-door testimony, his first time answering questions in front of a Democrat-controlled panel, as part of an agreement to cooperate with Mueller's investigation.

Democrats have long questioned whether some witnesses lied to lawmakers during those interviews, and they plan to make obstruction of justice another focus of their planned probe. Mueller could potentially use these transcripts to pursue charges of perjury.

It is unclear if the special counsel has explicitly requested access to any additional transcripts. The witnesses include the president's son Donald Trump Jr., as well as his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Republicans Wednesday made motions to publish unclassified transcripts of interviews with the committee, but Democrats blocked them, saying there actually was some classified material in those transcripts, CNN reported.

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