Republicans are refusing to name new witnesses in the Congressional investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 election and may be prematurely winding down the probe, according to the ranking Democrat in the House Intelligence Committee.
Firing off a nine-tweet thread on Friday, Adam Schiff (D–California) warned he had become “increasingly worried Republicans will shut down the House Intelligence Committee investigation at the end of the month,” before going on to explain that the Majority hasn’t lined anyone up to testify after Dec. 22.
“Yet, Republicans have scheduled no witnesses after next Friday and none in 2017. We have dozens of outstanding witnesses on key aspects of our investigation that they refuse to contact and many document requests they continue to sit on,” he wrote.
He also said Republicans are skirting their duties to obtain the documents they need for the investigation, which has been ongoing since January.
“Despite our repeated urging, Majority has declined to issue subpoenas in numerous avenues of the investigation, where there's simply no other way to get the information. Some refusals we’ve made public, like witnesses hiding behind nonexistent privileges, many others we haven’t,” Schiff tweeted.
He wrote that Republicans have further complicated the investigation by planning to interview two witnesses out-of-state next week, forcing lawmakers to choose between attending the depositions or voting on the tax bill. He added that the witnesses were able to come to Washington, D.C.
The witnesses are reportedly Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff and Felix Sater, a Trump associate who worked on a deal to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Schiff said shutting down the Congressional probe would then give Republicans justification to curtail special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.
A handful of GOP lawmakers have called for firing Mueller, with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Florida) charging last week that the probe had become "infected" with "intractable bias" against Trump.
He was referring to text messages sent from FBI agent Peter Strzok to his girlfriend during the 2016 campaign saying unflattering things about Trump. Strzok was quickly fired from the probe after the messages were uncovered.
So far, less than a dozen key players have testified before Congress, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr.
Most recently, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified before the House Intelligence Committee about alleged bias within the Department of Justice against Trump. Rosenstein said he had so far seen no good cause to fire Mueller.
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