House Launches New Investigation Into Trump, Russia

Posted February 07, 2019

President Donald Trump escalated his State of the Union threat to Democrats Wednesday when blasted House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, and suggested the California Democrat lacks any "basis" to launch a sweeping investigation of the president's campaign and personal finances.

He's also labeling the efforts "presidential harassment" and claiming they hurt the country.

A day after President Trump made an appeal to Congress to limit what he called "ridiculous partisan investigations", the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, announced new parameters of the panel's Democrat-led Russian Federation investigation, calling the president's discouragement of appropriate oversight a "nonstarter". They have been undergoing a declassification review. And I think that's fine because that's what they do.

Schiff has indicated that he will re-open parts of the committee probe, which Republicans closed last March, concluding there was no evidence of conspiracy or collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign.

"The special counsel's office, the Justice Department and its elements will now have access to those transcripts for any objective which will facilitate justice", Schiff told reporters after the committee's vote, adding that the transcripts will be sent to Mueller's investigators immediately.

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Schiff has said Mueller should consider whether additional perjury charges are warranted.

Schiff did not say whether he was referring to Mueller's investigation or his own.

This is the second time Cohen's planned testimony has been either delayed or cancelled.

The House Intelligence Committee postponed the appearance of President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen until later this month - days before he's scheduled to report to federal prison. Cohen is still expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee for a closed-door interview next Wednesday. Republicans who led the committee in the last Congress blocked Democrats' attempt to do so last September.

Mueller requested Stone's interview transcript a year ago and the panel voted to release it in December.

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"The American people have a right to know - indeed, a need to know - that the president is acting on their behalf and not for some pecuniary or other reason", Schiff said.

The panel also voted down a GOP request to subpoena "witnesses whose testimony Democrats previously sought", according to a statement from Republican members.

Schiff said today that the intelligence community had estimated it would finish vetting the transcripts by May or June, but that he was trying to get them to hurry the process by releasing some of the less-sensitive records first.

Democrats complained forcefully previous year that Republicans had blocked their effort and denied their request to subpoena key witnesses.

He said the majority declined to issue any subpoenas requested by Republicans because the committee meant to seek voluntary testimony before it resorted to compelling witnesses to testify.

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