Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) blasted the report issued by the House Intelligence Committee yesterday which claimed Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians during the 2016 election. Schiff declared that it showed the Republican leadership of the committee had no interest in pursuing the truth, even though there is abundant evidence the president and his campaign are guilty of collusion.
“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,” Schiff, a former prosecutor and the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, wrote in a statement to PoliticusUSA
The Intel committee is chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Ca.), – who has repeatedly acted to protect Trump – and was behind the release of this so-called final report.
The Republican-written report also claims Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn did not lie to the FBI, even though he has pleaded guilty to doing so.
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The report claims FBI agents said Flynn did not lie to the FBI, and that former FBI Director James Comey confirmed that to Congress, but in an interview yesterday on Fox News, Comey said that was absolutely false.
Bret Baier asked Comey about the claim that he told a Congressional committee that Flynn did not lie.
“No,” answered Comey, “I saw that in the media…maybe someone misunderstood something I said. I don’t believe that. I didn’t say that.”
Schiff charged back in March when Nunes abruptly ended the House Intel committee hearings without calling a whole list of other witnesses that the Republicans were capitulating to pressure from the White House to end the investigation and whitewash Trump and his campaign.
“By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country, and history will judge its actions harshly,” Schiff said March 12.
“If the Russians do have leverage over the President of the United States,” added Schiff in March, “the Majority has simply decided it would rather not know.”
Today, Schiff said there is a lot more to know and to find out, but it is already clear the conclusion that Trump did nothing wrong is a Republican fabrication.
“In fact,” wrote Schiff in his email today, “we found evidence of collusion in the abundant secret meetings and communications between Trump campaign officials and associates such as Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Flynn, Carter page, and others, with emissaries and officials from, or linked to the Russian government.”
“The Trump campaign and Administration’s efforts,” continues Schiff, “to deny, conceal and, when discovered, misrepresent what took place in these interactions with the Russians is powerful evidence of a consciousness of wrongdoing.”
“To determine whether this evidence of collusion reaches the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal conspiracy,” adds Schiff, “we must await the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller since the majority refused to interview witnesses and obtain the documents necessary to find out.”
“Regardless,” writes Schiff, “there is no denying the abundant evidence that the Trump campaign sought, and was eager to accept, the assistance of a hostile foreign power bent on interfering in our election.”
“It is also uncontroverted that the Russians assisted the Trump campaign through a surreptitious social media campaign, an overt paid media effort, and elaborate hacking and dumping operation targeting the DNC and Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta, and potentially through additional means still under investigation.”
Schiff said the Democrats will continue to investigate and just this week “received new documents from another important witness.”
Schiff and the other Democrats on the Intel committee released their minority report today where, according to Fox News, Schiff said they “correct the record on a raft of misleading conclusions, insinuations, attempts to explain away inconvenient facts, and arguments meant to protect the President and his campaign found in the Republican report.”
Oh, Russia asked to set up a Trump backchannel using the NRA. House GOPs refused to investigate. pic.twitter.com/54roaXRolL
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 27, 2018
Nunes and the Republicans have used the power of the House committee not to find the truth but to serve Trump’s desire to make the whole investigation go away, and if that isn’t possible, to provide a cover so the president can declare himself innocent and the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt.”
Schiff has emerged as an important figure in finding the truth and refusing to let the Republicans steamroll the truth.
We can only imagine how different this investigation would have been if Democrats controlled the House and Schiff had subpoena power to call all relevant witness and uncover the real facts.
Hopefully, in November American voters will give the Democrats back the majority in the House so beginning next January, the truth will once again be sought and the Republicans’ efforts at a phony coverup will be exposed.