Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee just issued a stinging 21-page report (embedded below) about the Trump-Russia investigation’s untimely death at the hands of their Republican committee colleagues. The GOP members, who control committee business as the majority party, are hell-bent on protecting President Trump, as their abrupt decision to kill the investigation shows.
The wide-ranging report issued by House Intel Democrats today lays bare the great lengths Republicans have gone to ignore Trump’s misdeeds, from the election to the present, even citing “a good faith reason to believe that the White House does in fact possess such documentation memorializing President Trump’s conversations with Director Comey.”
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Yesterday, the intel committee’s Ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called out the panel’s timid Republicans on Twitter for putting party over country for lacking, “the courage to stand up to a President of their own party when the national interest necessitates it.”
Today, the Democrats’ comprehensive investigation report lays bare the Trump-Russia scandal’s main investigatory threads. It highlights the wide-ranging effort by Trump’s cronies to obstruct the Committee, and it identifies both missing documents and key witnesses that the GOP members refused to call.
Appendix A: details the Committee’s outstanding lines of inquiry, some of which have been addressed only in part and others not at all. Many of the Minority’s requests bear directly on the second and third prongs of our investigation: whether the Russian active measures campaign included links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns or any other U.S. persons, and what we need to do to protect ourselves and our allies from election interference in the future.
Appendix B: outlines more than 30 key witnesses that the Committee has yet to interview. This list, chosen from a broader set of individuals and entities of interest, includes witnesses to whom the Committee has already sent letters, but who so far have failed to respond to the Committee’s request for voluntary cooperation; witnesses that the Minority has previously requested and whom the Majority has not agreed to call in for testimony or to request documents from; and pertinent new witnesses that the Committee has discovered in the course of the investigation.
Appendix C: identifies more than 20 entities from which the Committee has yet to request documents, including Deutsche Bank, the Estate of Peter Smith (and associated entities), the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA, and social media companies. These requests relate directly to investigative threads essential to determining the extent of Russia’s election interference and are indispensable to a comprehensive investigation.
Appendix D: outlines more than 15 persons and entities for which the Committee believes compulsory process for appearance and/or document production to the Committee is necessary. Included are witnesses who have refused to appear; who have invoked a nonexistent privilege to avoid pertinent testimony or who have simply refused to answer questions because the answers may be adverse to the interests of the President or his campaign; who have not produced any documentation; or whose production was insufficient and for whom we have a reasonable basis to believe that they possess documents responsive to the Committee’s investigation. This list includes, among others: Donald Trump Jr., Michael Cohen, Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, Attorney General Sessions, Erik Prince, and the White House. The Committee must also initiate a contempt process to compel Stephen Bannon to testify to the Committee fully and without constraints.
Three high-level Trump campaign officials have already pled guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal probe into the Trump-Russia affair, and former campaign chair Paul Manafort just got put on house arrest pending the first of two federal trials starting in July.
None of this has deterred House Intel Republicans, however. They’ve chosen to use the power of the majority to clean-up the crimes and traitorous behavior of their party’s autocratic president.
The Republican-led cover-up truly goes all the way to the top of the House of Representatives. Speaker Paul Ryan allowed Rep. Devin Nunes to remain as the House Intel Chairman even though he served on the Trump Transition team, which is under both Congressional and criminal investigation as we speak.
But next year, if the House of Representatives turns blue, which seems likely, Democrats would be able to pick up right where Adam Schiff and his blue state colleagues on the committee have left off with this scathing report. In that very realistic scenario, they would have the subpoena power that comes with the majority, and no further reason to allow Republicans to continue obstructing the most important national security investigation of our lifetimes.
Read the House Intel Democrats report here:
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) March 14, 2018