The top Democrat on the House committee investigating the ever-expanding probe into Russia’s engagement in the 2016 presidential race said Sunday that panel members still have no “final” signs the Trump campaign was working to overcome Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
The very first public indication that Russia might have already been directly involved came in late summer together with the release of hacked emails related to the Clinton campaign and from the Democratic National Committee.
“I do not believe we can say anything definitively at this point,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Commitee on Intelligence, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We are still at the early stage of the investigation. The only real thing I could say is that it might be irresponsible for us not to get to the underside of this
The U.S. intelligence community concluded several months ago that Russia meddled in the race, in which Trump upset the frontrunning Clinton.
Now, the FBI together with the House and Senate intelligence committees are investigating the matter, including retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn being fired as Trump’s national security adviser for not revealing chats with at least one Russian official.
The ordeal has grown to include allegations by Trump that the Obama administration wiretapped his campaign and signs that Flynn initially didn’t divulge about $67,000 in speaking fees from companies associated with
Flynn attorneys have proposed their customer will testify on Capitol Hill in exchange for immunity.
Schiff said that he received the exemption offer with “balanced skepticism,” describing that this kind of deal might undermine the Justice Department probe.
Democrats and others say the House investigation has already been undermined by committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes and are calling for an independent, bipartisan probe like the so-called 9/11 Commission.
He afterwards admitted reviewing the reports in the White House.
Schiff went to the White House to review exactly the same files that Nunes saw.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told “Fox News Sunday” that he doesn’t see the need for an independent probe.
“It’s only not needed based on that which we know now, ” he said. “We have a bipartisan investigation underway. .. We don’t need another investigation. It’s being handled appropriately.”
Trump, who has suggested Flynn did nothing illegal and was a victim that was political, tweeted this weekend the Russia-link storyline “The actual narrative turns out to be SURVEIL and is “fake news” and LEAKING! Find the leakers.”
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence purportedly will begin interviewing witnesses and really wants to speak with Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor Jared Kushner.