House Intel committee postpones Michael Cohen's testimony

07 February, 2019, 04:42 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Trump calls for an end to investigations of his administration

"He's just a political hack that's trying to build a name for himself", Trump said when asked by reporters about Schiff's announcement of the investigation earlier Wednesday.

Schiff said the investigation will include "the scope and scale" of Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election, the "extent of any links and/or coordination" between Russians and Trump's associates, whether foreign actors have sought to hold leverage over Trump or his family and associates, and whether anyone has sought to obstruct any of the relevant investigations. Republicans also sought to to subpoena a dozen officials, including Utah Rep. Chris Stewart and former FBI Director James Comey, but Schiff blocked that, too, arguing it was premature to subpoena witnesses who hadn't refused to testify voluntarily.

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".

Schiff said the panel would release transcripts of all interviews after Roger Stone, a longtime ally of Trump, was charged with lying to Congress. Last month, Cohen cited threats from Trump for postponing testimony before an open hearing of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee set for February 7.

"Our job involves making sure that the policy of the United States is being driven by the national interest, not by any financial entanglement, financial leverage or other form of compromise".

Republican members of the intelligence committee had hoped to release to the public transcripts from its unclassified interviews - which account for the vast majority - but the motion was voted down, said Representative Michael Conaway, R, who ran the committee's GOP-led Russian Federation probe.

More news: Super Bowl Ratings: Lowest In A Decade, Lowest Ever In New Orleans

"We're going to do our proper oversight", Schiff told reporters after the intelligence panel's first meeting, which was closed.

The California Democrat also announced a delay in an upcoming closed-door interview with Trump's former fixer and personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, "in the interests of the investigation".

Democrats have long questioned whether some witnesses lied to lawmakers during those interviews, and they plan to make obstruction of justice another focus of their planned probe.

In the previous Congress, Schiff tried to send the unredacted transcripts to Mueller, but was stifled by Republicans, who said that Mueller's office had not requested them, CNN noted.

Mueller requested Stone's interview transcript past year and the panel voted to release it in December. 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.

Democrats complained forcefully past year that Republicans had blocked their effort and denied their request to subpoena key witnesses.

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