Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff has been a leading voice calling for investigations into the Trump campaign and possible ties to Russia. On Meet the Press Sunday, Rep. Schiff said that there is indeed some evidence of collusion between the two parties, though he did not reveal what it is.
Schiff told host Chuck Todd that his aim in the investigation is to determine if there was in fact a quid-pro-quo relationship between Russia and Trump campaign officials. When Todd pointed out that President Obama’s former CIA and national intelligence directors said there was no evidence, Schiff said he wouldn’t characterize it that way.
I was surprised to see Director Clapper say that, because I don’t think you can make that claim categorically, as he did. I would characterize it this way, at the outset of the investigation, there was circumstantial evidence of collusion. There was direct evidence, I think, of deception.
And that’s where we begin the investigation. Now I don’t want to prejudge where we ultimately end up, and of course, there’s one thing to say there’s evidence. There’s another thing to say we can prove this or prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, or there’s enough evidence to bring to a grand jury for purposes of criminal indictment.
But there was certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation. The American people have a right to know, and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more.
Schiff went on to say that Republican committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes will “have to” use subpoena power of the committee to get the testimony of all involved. Schiff noted his committee hasn’t notified third-party witnesses, like GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone who had advance knowledge of Wikileaks’ activities, that the committee wants their testimony.
This marks the first time that any elected official with access to classified information has said that there is even circumstantial evidence of collusion. It’s possible that he’s referring to media reports about meetings between Trump officials and alleged Russian operatives, but Schiff wouldn’t confirm any of it.
Nonetheless, this shows that at least Democrats on the intelligence committee in the House are going to pursue this investigation with the kind of vigor and thoroughness that the Republicans showed to the Benghazi controversy.
You can see the full interview below:
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