House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced on Wednesday that it will conduct a wide-ranging investigation into Russian election interference and whether those efforts have been helped by actors within the United States.
Schiff told reporters the investigation will "allow us to investigate any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the President or anyone in the administration." Schiff added that the probe's scope "pertains to any credible allegations of leverage by the Russians or the Saudis or anyone else."
In a statement, Schiff explained that additional committees may be formed to ensure a thorough investigation and that legislation to protect American elections from future hacks and sabotage will be proposed.
Specifically, the probe will delve into five major areas, per Schiff's statement:
- "The scope and scale of the Russian government’s operations to influence the U.S. political process, and the U.S. government’s response, during and since the 2016 election;"
- "The extent of any links and/or coordination between the Russian government, or related foreign actors, and individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign, transition, administration, or business interests, in furtherance of the Russian government’s interests;"
- "Whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates;"
- "Whether President Trump, his family, or his associates are or were at any time at heightened risk of, or vulnerable to, foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion, or have sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests;"
- "Whether any actors – foreign or domestic – sought or are seeking to impede, obstruct, and/or mislead authorized investigations into these matters, including those in the Congress."
The Committee voted on Wednesday to share testimony from Trump campaign associates with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose own investigation into Trump and Russia is rumored to be nearing its climax.
“As Chairman of the Committee, I am committed to leading a thorough and impartial investigation that will follow the facts, and I hope that our Minority counterparts will join us in that effort," Schiff said. "Congress has a duty to expose foreign interference, hold Russia to account, ensure that U.S. officials – including the President – are serving the national interest and, if not, are held accountable.”
Reacting to the news, Trump on Wednesday said Schiff has "no basis to do that." Schiff is "just a political hack trying to build a name for himself," Trump said, adding that these latest legal challenges constitute "presidential harassment."
On Thursday morning, the president insisted on Twitter that there was "no collusion" and repeated that Schiff "looking at every aspect of my life" is "unlimited presidential harassment."
So now Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking… https://t.co/xwGh0o6S4X— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1549538014.0
"The Dems and their committees are going 'nuts,'" Trump whined. "The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!"
....The Dems and their committees are going “nuts.” The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would… https://t.co/K002FWQZGI— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1549538808.0
"PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!" Trump tweeted a few minutes later. "It should never be allowed to happen again!"
PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT! It should never be allowed to happen again!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1549543075.0
Republicans never did this to Obama? Really? Trump started the racist birther movement against his predecessor, while Republicans in Congress did everything possible to sabotage his presidency.
You spent years telling people the first African American President was born in Africa. https://t.co/qOFcMXAaeC— Ben Rhodes (@Ben Rhodes)1549543424.0
@realDonaldTrump Then STOP harassing people. You relentlessly harassed President Obama with your lie that he wasnt… https://t.co/mK5XxlktVA— Mia Farrow (@Mia Farrow)1549553087.0
@realDonaldTrump Birther,Benghazi!— chris hazy (@chris hazy)1549552334.0
@realDonaldTrump tRump, a man accused by innumerable women of sexual harassment and violence including a woman who… https://t.co/rHW8k6CMT5— Jeffrey Guterman (@Jeffrey Guterman)1549538316.0
@realDonaldTrump I seemed to remember President Obama being harassed... by you.— Nancy Lee Grahn (@Nancy Lee Grahn)1549540310.0
Trump certainly seems worried.
He probably should be.
@realDonaldTrump If you are innocent, why so upset?— Mia Farrow (@Mia Farrow)1549550762.0
@realDonaldTrump No reason to be doing so? Two words: Trump Foundation.— Liddle’ Savage (@Liddle’ Savage)1549538908.0
Oversight is real.
@realDonaldTrump It's called Congressional Oversight. It's in Article I of the Constitution. Look it up. You really should know this.— Victoria Brownworth (@Victoria Brownworth)1549552616.0
@realDonaldTrump Trump claiming “presidential harassment.” Mr. Trump, repeat after us #ForThePeople: “This is no… https://t.co/7nU7OCnvss— Immigration.Com #Resist (@Immigration.Com #Resist)1549538668.0
Nobody is above the law.
@realDonaldTrump NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW! It should never be allowed to happen again!— Jennifer Taub (@Jennifer Taub)1549544212.0
@realDonaldTrump OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE! It should never be allowed to happen again!— William LeGate (@William LeGate)1549543906.0
@realDonaldTrump RULE OF LAW! It’s called democracy and elections have consequences.— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1549543207.0