Democrats say House GOP leaving much work unfinished in Russia probe

Democrats say House GOP leaving much work unfinished in Russia probe 

Posted: 4:00 am Thursday, March 15th, 2018

By Jamie Dupree

After Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee announced this week that they would wrap up the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Democrats on that panel now say they will also be issuing their own report, releasing a 21 page document detailing what they contend are holes in the GOP investigation, “especially with respect to the issues of collusion and obstruction of justice.”

“The decision to shut down the investigation before key witnesses could be interviewed and vital documentary evidence obtained will prevent us from fully discharging our duty to the House and to the American people,” panel Democrats wrote.

Led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Democrats charge the GOP has been basically running interference for the President, something GOP lawmakers sternly deny.

“Conducting a thorough and impartial investigation of these matters has been a challenging undertaking that has been made much more so by the Majority’s concerted efforts, at the behest of the White House, to undermine our work and that of the FBI and Special Counsel,” Democrats wrote.

In their document, Democrats claimed the GOP move to end the Russia probe would curtail a number of investigative avenues – among them:

+ Getting answers on how Russia relied on Wikileaks and others to disseminate hacked emails from Democratic Party officials.

+ Figuring out the aim of certain Russian contacts with members of the Trump Campaign, and how information was relayedto them.

+ Investigating post-election interference by Russia, and links to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has already pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents.

+ Questions about the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

On the Comey question, the Democratic document goes through how the committee asked the White House if there were any “tapes” of the meetings or phone calls involving President Trump and Comey.

While there may not be “tapes,” Democrats think there might be records about those conversations.

“The Minority has a good faith reason to believe that the White House does in fact possess such documentation memorializing President Trump’s conversations with Director Comey,” Democrats wrote.

The Democratic document goes on at length about witnesses who should have been called to testify, but were not, document requests which should have been made, and subpoenas that Democrats wanted for a variety of close aides to the President.

It’s just another piece of an investigation that one GOP member said has gone “off the rails,” as the two parties head for completely independent reports on the Russia probe.

No date has been set by either party on release of a final report.

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