FILE - In this March 22, 2018 file photo, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, exits a secure area to speak to reporters, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House intelligence committee is expected to vote to send more than 50 interview transcripts to special counsel Robert Mueller. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House panel expected to send Russia transcripts to Mueller

The vote comes the morning after Trump criticized ‘ridiculous partisan investigations’

In the panel’s first act since Democrats took the majority, the House intelligence committee is expected to vote Wednesday to send more than 50 interview transcripts from its now-closed Russia investigation to special counsel Robert Mueller.

The panel’s new chairman, California Rep. Adam Schiff, has long said that sending Mueller the transcripts from the probe into Russian election interference would be one of his first actions. Two associates of President Donald Trump have already been charged with lying to the committee, and Schiff has said Mueller should consider whether additional perjury charges are warranted as part of the special counsel’s investigation.

As is tradition, the committee will meet behind closed doors. A notice for the meeting says that one of the agenda items is “transmission of certain committee transcripts to the Department of Justice.” A person familiar with the meeting said the vote is to send the transcripts to Mueller’s office. The person asked not to be named because committee business is confidential.

The vote comes the morning after Trump criticized “ridiculous partisan investigations” in his State of the Union speech. Schiff has indicated that he will re-open parts of the committee probe that Republicans closed last March, concluding there was no evidence of conspiracy or collusion between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign. Democrats strongly objected at the time, saying that the Republicans prematurely closed the investigation.

Trump’s former fixer and personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and a longtime adviser, Roger Stone, have been charged with lying to the panel. Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to the House and Senate intelligence committees in a statement about his role in a Trump business proposal in Moscow, acknowledging that he misled lawmakers by saying he had abandoned the project in January 2016 when he actually continued pursuing it for months after that.

Cohen, who is scheduled to begin serving a three-year prison sentence in March, will return to the House panel on Friday for another closed-door interview, this time with Democrats leading the questioning. Since he testified in 2017, Cohen has turned on the president, co-operating with Mueller’s probe and a separate investigation in New York. He was charged with crimes that included arranging the payment of hush money to conceal his boss’ alleged sexual affairs and told a judge that he agreed to cover up Trump’s “dirty deeds” out of “blind loyalty.”

Stone pleaded not guilty to charges last month that he lied to the House panel about his discussions during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released thousands of emails stolen from Democrats. Stone is also charged with obstructing the House probe by encouraging one of his associates, New York radio host Randy Credico, to refuse to testify before the House panel in an effort to conceal Stone’s false statements.

Mueller requested Stone’s interview transcript last year and the panel voted to release it in December, ahead of the January charges. Democrats had previously pushed the GOP-led committee to release all of the transcripts to Mueller, but Republicans said Mueller hadn’t requested them. The committee did vote to release most of the transcripts to the public, but they are still being reviewed by the intelligence community for classified information.

It is unclear if Mueller has since requested any other transcripts, or if he has already seen any of them. It is possible that Mueller could have gained access to the documents through the intelligence agencies that are reviewing them.

Among the transcripts that would be released would be interviews with Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; his longtime spokeswoman, Hope Hicks; and his former bodyguard Keith Schiller. There are dozens of other transcripts of interviews with former Obama administration officials and Trump associates.

Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

School District 8 trustees vote in favour of raises

Six of the nine trustees backed the increase in pay

GREG SCOTT: Pulp mill proposed for Procter area

In 1970, a new airline service began to serve Nelson three days a week

Local Whitecaps players moving on to play at university

Mimi Lockhurst and Abby Jackson have graduated from the Kootenay academy

Cottonwood Market stage construction resumes

The stage will be a venue for performances at the market and at other times during the week

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read