Politics Schiff lays out Republican efforts to block access in Russia probe

05:50  12 january  2018
05:50  12 january  2018 Source:   MSN

Top House Intel Dem wants to call Ivanka as witness in Russia probe

  Top House Intel Dem wants to call Ivanka as witness in Russia probe The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said he wants to call "dozens" more witnesses to testify in front of the panel in the Russia probe, including first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump.Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told Reuters that he would like the committee's GOP leader Rep. Devin Nunes, to call Ivanka Trump and former White House strategist Steve Bannon as witnesses. He also wants Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner to testify again.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday detailed a list of witnesses and documents Democrats say Republicans have kept them from accessing during the panel’s Russia investigation, and blamed the committee’s chairman and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan

Adam Schiff , the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Thursday that Republicans are blocking dozens of witnesses from being interviewed in the Russia probe , including some who Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, left, speaks with Rep. Mike Conaway (R_Texas) before the start of a hearing in November. © Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, left, speaks with Rep. Mike Conaway (R_Texas) before the start of a hearing in November.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday detailed a list of witnesses and documents Democrats say Republicans have kept them from accessing during the panel's Russia investigation, and blamed the committee's chairman and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) for attempting to end the probe before it is complete.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said that committee Republicans had blocked Democrats' efforts to subpoena Deutsche Bank for financial records related to President Trump's family on the suspicion that Russians "may have laundered money through Trump properties." Democrats also were stymied in their effort to subpoena executives at Twitter, Schiff said, to secure the direct messages that members of Trump's inner circle exchanged with representatives of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who Democrats believe acted as Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential campaign.

House Republicans defend their handling of Russia probe

  House Republicans defend their handling of Russia probe Republicans offer statistics about witnesses and hours of testimony to show they're hard at work, but Democrats say the numbers don't add up to quality.Republican officials with knowledge of the investigation tell NBC News that as of late December the committee's Russia Investigative Task Force had completed 67 transcribed witness interviews, for a total of 164 hours of testimony, while reviewing nearly 300,000 documents.

Adam Schiff , D-Calif., said that committee Republicans had blocked Democrats’ efforts to subpoena Deutsche Bank for financial records related to President Donald Trump’s family on the Democrat wants to interview Ivanka Trump in Russia probe . Mueller adds veteran cyber prosecutor to team.

But as Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes point out , we can empirically evaluate whether Republicans are — or aren’t — making a good-faith effort to interview all the witnesses necessary to establish the full truth about Russian interference and possible conspiracy with it.

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Schiff complained that Republicans were unwilling to press those members of the Trump team who participated in a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower for a complete record of their communications over email, telephone, and encrypted applications. Then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and son Donald Trump Jr. attended the meeting, which was initially billed to Trump Jr. as a means of securing information damaging to Trump's political opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton

According to two people with knowledge of the materials, the phone records Trump Jr. turned over to the panel were heavily redacted. Schiff added that GOP leaders refused to seek testimony from additional witnesses with knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, including Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and the president's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump.

Lewandowski rebuffs committee's questions in Russia probe

  Lewandowski rebuffs committee's questions in Russia probe Former Trump aide said he was unprepared to answer questions a day after Steve Bannon said he was told not to provide answers about his time in the White House.WASHINGTON — A top Trump administration official answered a full range of questions from House investigators Wednesday, just one day after former White House strategist Steve Bannon told them he was under instructions from the West Wing to remain silent, sparking new negotiations between Congress and the White House that could lead President Trump to formally invoke executive privilege for the first time in the Russia probe.

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"If there's credible information that Ivanka Trump had contact with any participants in that meeting at the time of that meeting . . . I think it would be valuable to have her come and testify before the committee," Schiff said.

He added that he believes the committee should invite former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to testify, saying "it's my expectation that he will be doing so."

In a new book, author Michael Wolff writes that Bannon thought the Trump Tower meeting was "treasonous."

Schiff's complaints come as the House GOP begins to pivot its attention away from questions of possible Russian collusion and toward those about the FBI's conduct during its probes of Trump's alleged Russia ties and Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The phenomenon has inspired Democrats across Congress to strike out on their own, drafting reports and publicizing findings to date from the various Russia probes underway in the House and Senate.

DOJ deal gives Nunes access to 'all' documents, witnesses sought in Russia probe, letter says

  DOJ deal gives Nunes access to 'all' documents, witnesses sought in Russia probe, letter says House investigators will get access this week to “all remaining investigative documents” – in unredacted form – that they had sought as part of their Russia inquiry, under a deal between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., according to a letter obtained by Fox News. The letter, from Nunes to Rosenstein, summarizes an “agreement” reached on a phone call Wednesday evening and also says key FBI and Justice Department witnesses in the probe will be provided for interviews later this month.

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Several Republican members of the House Intelligence panel have said in recent weeks they are eager to end the Russia investigation and issue a report, claiming they have nearly exhausted the roster of individuals they could interview.

Schiff said Thursday that the committee has interviewed 56 witnesses — half the number of people that have appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Schiff said, meaning there are "dozens" of witnesses they have yet to bring in.

He blamed panel chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) for ruling against bringing in certain witnesses, "even when he recused himself" from running the committee's probe. Nunes had stepped aside from the chairman's duties, deputizing Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.) to run the Russia probe while the House Ethics Committee investigated allegations that Nunes had improperly publicized classified information; he was cleared of those allegations in December.

A spokesman for Nunes declined to comment.

Schiff also said that he would hold Ryan responsible if the House probe "is prematurely curtailed for political reasons."

Ryan responded in a statement: "While Mr. Schiff tries to distract from the serious, bipartisan review that's been underway for nearly a year, we will stay focused on following the facts and working to safeguard the upcoming election."

Trump's year: Congress bickers over Russia, Mueller looms .
Republicans who spent the early months of 2017 working with Democrats on investigations into Russian interference in U.S. elections have pivoted as the new year begins and midterm elections loom, leaving the conclusions of those congressional probes in doubt. Load Error

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