Schiff: Republicans have tried to hinder Russia probe

By Karoun Demirjian | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday detailed a list of witnesses and documents Democrats say Republicans have kept them from accessing during the panel’s Russia investigation, and blamed the committee’s chairman and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for attempting to end the probe before it is complete.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that committee Republicans had blocked Democrats’ efforts to subpoena Deutsche Bank for financial records related to President Donald Trump’s family on the suspicion that Russians “may have laundered money through Trump properties.”

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Democrats also were stymied in their effort to subpoena executives at Twitter, Schiff said, to secure the direct messages that members of Trump’s inner circle exchanged with representatives of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who Democrats believe acted as Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Schiff complained that Republicans were unwilling to press those members of the Trump team who participated in a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower for a complete record of their communications over email, telephone, and encrypted applications. Then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and son Donald Trump Jr. attended the meeting, which was initially billed to Trump Jr. as a means of securing information damaging to Trump’s political opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

According to two people with knowledge of the materials, the phone records Trump Jr. turned over to the panel were heavily redacted. Schiff added that GOP leaders refused to seek testimony from additional witnesses with knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, including Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and the president’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump.

“If there’s credible information that Ivanka Trump had contact …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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