Trump says House intel probe has no basis

Trump says House intel probe has no basis

Trump says House intel probe has no basis

The committee in September, then under Republican control, also voted to provide the interview transcripts to the Justice Department.

The Republican majority in the last Congress ended the probe in March, stating that they agreed with the intelligence community's assessment of Russia's campaign influence operation "except with respect to Putin's supposed preference for candidate Trump".

Vowing not to be "intimidated" by Donald Trump, the new Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the panel will probe whether foreign governments or individuals had improper leverage over the president or his business interests.

Schiff said the investigation, which could involve additional congressional committees, would "allow us to investigate any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the President or anyone in the administration".

New information about "covert and overt" Russian actions that targeted members of the president's campaign and his private businesses has emerged in the two years since the election, and merits scrutiny, Schiff said in a statement.

Schiff also confirmed that closed-door testimony by Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and fixer, has been delayed to February 28 but didn't comment on why.

Schiff also said the panel's first act had been to authorize the transmission of all of the transcripts of witness testimony as part of the House Russia investigation to the special counsel. The investigation, Schiff said, would also explore whether Trump or his associates have "sought to influence USA government policy in service of foreign interests" and any potential obstruction into the various investigations.

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Schiff said the panel would release transcripts of all interviews after Roger Stone, a longtime ally of Trump, was charged with lying to Congress.

Stone pleaded not guilty to charges last month that he lied to the House panel about his discussions during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released thousands of emails stolen from Democrats.

Schiff said the panel hopes to make all of the transcripts public by May or June, after they are vetted for classified material.

Mueller requested Stone's interview transcript past year and the panel voted to release it in December. It is possible that Mueller could have gained access to the documents through the intelligence agencies that are reviewing them.

Schiff also said the committee plans to release all transcripts of testimony given to the committee. Among those whose transcripts would be sent are Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon.

Schiff also laid out five "interconnected lines of inquiry" that Democrats feel ranking member Devin Nunes of California did not adequately pursue when he was chairman last Congress.

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