House Democrats Launch In-Depth Investigations into Trump's Finances and Russia
Democrats that control the U.S. House of Representatives will expand their investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election, and president Donald Trump and his alleged collusion with Russia.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Wednesday announced the body will resurrect and expand its investigation into Russian interference and potential links between Moscow and Trump and Trump's financial dealings.
Schiff told reporters the intelligence committee's inquiry will go "beyond Russia," according to CNN. More specifically, the probe will not only examine the Kremlin's meddling in the election, but also "credible reports of money laundering and financial compromise related to the business interests of President Trump, his family and his associates."
Schiff said the investigation will allow the committee "to investigate any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the President or anyone in the administration.
He said this pertains to any credible allegations of leverage by the Russians or the Saudis or anyone else. Schiff made these remarks after the House Intelligence Committee's first meeting at the new Congress on Wednesday.
The House Intelligence Committee took its first action by voting to send more than 50 transcripts from its Russia investigation interviews to Mueller. It panel approved the motion to send the transcripts by voice vote.
Getting down into details, Schiff said his committee's investigation will include a continued probe into Russia's actions during the 2016 election and contacts between the Russia and Trump's team. The committee will also examine "whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates."
The probe will also involve additional congressional committees, and will also look at whether Trump or his associates sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests and any potential obstruction into various investigations of the Trump administration.
Trump reacted angrily to Schiff's comments, claiming the Democratic leader has "no basis to do that." Trump claims this constitutes presidential harassment despite there being no such thing in U.S. executive or judicial jurisprudence.
Schiff's detailed remarks are the closest indication yet into how congressional Democrats will investigate Trump, his finances and possible ties to foreign entities, especially Russia. It also confirms Democrats will continue probing Trump and his team well after special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has concluded.
Schiff's comments came less than a day after Trump's divisive and much-criticized State of the Union address yesterday where he warned Democrats against undertaking "ridiculous partisan investigations."
Schiff's response to Trump's threat: "We're going to do our job and won't be distracted or intimidated by threats or attacks."