As Congress enters a new phase of its investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal, the CIA is providing Lawmakers access to classified evidence on Russia’s involvement in the presidential election.
According several news reports, the lawmakers were summoned to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to review sensitive intelligence in connection with president Trump’s ties to the Kremlin.
The extraordinary development comes as the House prepares to hold its first public hearing on the issue and the Senate is preparing to interview witnesses.
For months, the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees said their investigations into ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials meddling in the 2016 presidential election were in their “initial” stages. Now, the probes are in full swing, Politico writes.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) visited CIA headquarters on Monday to view the documents underlying the intelligence community’s unclassified assessment that Russia sought to sway the election in favor of Trump.
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said members of his panel had also made visits to CIA headquarters and that there will be “more trips out there.” He said he was close to reaching an agreement with the intelligence community on whether evidence would be turned over to Congress or continue to be housed within the agencies.
Nunes also said Tuesday that his panel’s first public hearing on the issue would be held March 20 and that former members of the Obama administration had been asked to testify — including former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired by Trump in January after refusing to defend his travel ban executive order in court.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, is expected to begin questioning witnesses behind closed doors “in the coming days and weeks,” according to a congressional source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
But don’t believe all the hype. Despite their rhetoric, Republicans are trying to hide Trump’s Russia connections and bury conflict of interest investigations
Democratic lawmakers want to find out the truth about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia, and how his policies are being distorted by business interests.
But Republicans want to keep any investigation from getting even a moment’s notice in public —because protecting Trump is now their number one priority. So they’re doing it in committee.
The panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, said he planned to travel to Langley on Wednesday to view the raw intelligence documents. Warner emphasized that the documents were “not the extent of the information we’ll need” to conduct the Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, which will include looking into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
New York Democrat Jerry Nadler had filed a resolution of inquiry, a manuever which would have bypassed the usual roadblocks that allow Republican House leadership to squelch legislation before it reaches the floor. Under the resolution, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be required to turn over documentation showing any investigations of Trump’s activities. Other agencies would also have to make information available for review. However, Congressional Republicans blocked the effort.
Republicans want Americans to believe they are honestly investigating Donald Trump’s treasonous activities. But make no mistake, they are determined to keep the public in the dark about the evidence the CIA is providing.