Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California just slammed Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee for refusing to subpoena Donald Trump Jr.’s phone records, a move Schiff says deliberately exempted key evidence in the investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
Specifically, Schiff believes a blocked number included in the president’s namesake’s phone records could belong to the president himself. The blocked number in question is sandwiched between two calls to Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani singer and businessman.
Schiff told The Washington Post that Republicans on the committee refused to issue a subpoena to determine the identity of the blocked caller, even though the call could have been Trump Jr. getting permission from father, then a candidate, to hold the meeting.
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“We sought to determine whether that number belonged to the president, because we also ascertained that then-candidate Trump used a blocked number. That would tell us whether Don Jr. sought his father’s permission to take the meeting, and [whether] that was the purpose of that call.”
The refusal, according to Schiff, was a deliberate attempt to avoid potentially necessary information. “They didn’t want to know whether he had informed his father and sought his permission to take that meeting with the Russians.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority released its full report on Russian interference during the 2016 election on Friday. Democrats did not support the report, slamming it as a partisan sham. They say the investigation was cut short despite a glaring lack of key documents, like the identity of the blocked caller and pertinent interviews.
The report places equal blame on both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for “poor judgment and ill-considered actions” during the election.
“While the Committee found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government, the investigation did find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns,” the report reads.
Still, Schiff and his Democratic allies maintain the investigation is incomplete and biased.
“Throughout the investigation, Committee Republicans chose not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, instead adopting the role of defense counsel for key investigation witnesses.”
Sounds like Republican obstruction, like a fish, rots from the head down.