Democrats With House Intel Are Restarting the Russia Probe in a BIG Way

Democrats With House Intel Are Restarting the Russia Probe in a BIG Way February 7, 2019

Did I say President Trump was in for endless investigations?

Well, things just got a bit thicker, on that front.

When Republicans held the majority in both the House and Senate, they pretty much toed the party line and acted as shields for the newly crowned king, rather than co-equal checks on an incompetent, inexperienced mountebank’s destructive (and possibly compromised) impulses.

Donald Trump was a really dumb kid in a candy store, and the Republican Congress acted as his over-indulgent parents.

Now, however, he’s dealing with a split Congress. Democrats have taken control of the House, while Republicans maintain control of the Senate.

So what does this look like for President Trump?

Well, remember the beginnings of the Russia probe? The House Intelligence Committee, chaired at that time by Representative Devin Nunes (R-Ca.) turned what was supposed to be in investigation into Russia’s activities in the 2016 election into a mission to discredit our nation’s intelligence community (Sound familiar?).

Nunes was asked to step aside as chairman in April 2017 after he was suspected of improperly disclosing classified information to the public. In December, the Ethics Committee closed their investigation, but that only encouraged Nunes.

Nunes, rather than actually focusing on Russia’s attempts to subvert our nation’s election process, released a four page memo in February 2018, claiming an FBI plot to bring down President Trump.

I saw the memo. It was less than a nothing burger.

In March 2018, in a move that surprised absolutely nobody who has been watching the mutation of the GOP, the Republican-led House Intelligence Community concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Russia had not favored Trump to win, and in fact, they decided it was time to go after the FBI and Justice Department.

That should be enough to chill the blood of anyone who has been keeping up.

So where is Rep. Nunes, now?

Somewhere not being the chairman of House Intel, anymore. That’s where.

Democrats are in charge and Representative Adam Schiff is now the chairman.

Schiff announced on Wednesday that not only will House Intel be engaging in a do-over in the Russia probe, but they’re going to expand it to cover enough ground to really squeeze Donald Trump.

In other words, having a toady like Nunes whitewash the first round wasn’t the wisest of choices.

Said Schiff, in regards to Russia Probe 2.0:

Schiff said the investigation would “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.”

“That pertains to any credible allegations of leverage by the Russians or the Saudis or anyone else,” Schiff told reporters after the House Intelligence Committee’s first meeting in the new Congress.

We can assume that much of the renewed interest has to do with revelations from former Trump attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump’s was still negotiating a lucrative real estate deal with the Kremlin, well into 2016, and after he was the GOP candidate.

In a statement, Schiff said the investigation would include a continued probe into Russia’s actions during the 2016 election and contacts between the Russia and Trump’s team, as well as an examination of “whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates.”

Would that include getting a look at Trump’s tax returns?

At this point, we can assume they’re going to ask the president to bend over and grab his ankles. And by that, I’m saying it sounds like they intend to be very thorough, unlike Nunes.

Schiff said the investigation, which could involve additional congressional committees, would also look at whether Trump or his associates have “sought to influence US government policy in service of foreign interests” and any potential obstruction into the various investigations.

I want you to think about the 2016 RNC convention in Cleveland, and how with the orchestration of Paul Manafort and Reince Priebus, the language towards Russia’s aggressive activities was “softened” in the GOP platform.

I’m sure if you’ve been keeping up, you can come up with many more examples, since then.

This is a separate investigation from what is going on with special counsel Robert Mueller, but Schiff and company want to keep him in the loop.

In a voice vote on Wednesday, the committee approved the decision to send special counsel over 50 transcripts from their previous work on the Russia probe.

So, if there was someone who spoke to the committee behind closed doors and said something like, say, “My father didn’t know about that meeting with the Russians” or “My father didn’t tell me what to say to the press about that meeting with the Russians,” and then it was discovered later that he wasn’t being truthful, that person could be in hot water for lying to Congress.

Just an example.

Of course, the new Republican religion of whataboutism was well in play.

Republicans on the committee, now the minority, argued that if Democrats wanted to restart the Russia probe, then Hillary Clinton’s campaign should be investigated, as well. Also, what about that intelligence community that Republicans oddly hate, now?

Democrats struck down that complaint, saying that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on Clinton’s part (We’ll call those emails and destroying the servers an “accident,” I guess), but if evidence emerged, they’d consider it.

They also said, however, that Trump is president now – not Hillary Clinton – so his potential foreign influences are more crucial.

The vote to send the transcripts to Mueller was not controversial or a surprise. Schiff has said that he wanted to send the transcripts to Mueller for review to see whether any other witnesses who appeared before the committee committed perjury. The transcripts are likely to be transmitted by the end of the day, Schiff said.

The other interviews that will now be sent to the special counsel include Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior campaign aides Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon and Hope Hicks. They also include numerous Obama administration officials and others in Trump’s orbit who were interviewed during the committee’s yearlong probe.

Republicans pushed to subpoena a dozen officials, such as former FBI Director James Comey, in an attempt to lessen the impact of what Democrats were proposing.

More whataboutism.

They also wanted to make public the committee’s interview transcripts conducted in an unclassified setting, including most of the panel’s Russia interviews. Democrats shut that down, as well.

They’re looking for a May or June release of those transcripts. A review, in order to determine what information might be considered classified or sensitive has to happen, first.

The Republican motions underscored the role-reversal for Schiff and Nunes in the Democratic-led Congress when it comes to the Russia investigation: In the last Congress, Schiff made numerous requests for subpoenas and committee actions that were rejected by the Republican majority.

As he left the committee’s secure spaces, Nunes was asked whether he voted to release the transcripts to Mueller. “You guys are an embarrassment to yourselves,” Nunes responded.

Somebody sounds bitter.

Speaking of bitter, President Trump had his say about these new developments, as well.

Trump reacted Wednesday to Schiff’s announcement by slamming the California Democrat and saying Schiff has “no basis to do that.”

“He’s just a political hack trying to build a name for himself,” Trump said in the Roosevelt Room Wednesday after announcing his new nominee to be World Bank president. “It’s called presidential harassment and it is unfortunate.”

I don’t think that’s a thing.

It’s called “politics,” however, and elections have consequences.

Trump should have thought of that before he decided to play president for the reality TV crowds.

 

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  • JASmius

    Schiff is partisan – as are all elected officials, so that’s really a meaningless descriptor in this instance – but he’s no hack. Beginning in 2021, he’ll be circling the wagons around President Castro as Nunes did Trump, but for now, he’s performing a vital – and constitutionally mandated – national service. Good hunting to him.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I agree with your assessment of Schiff. I also think that Mueller’s investigation has just received a MAJOR shot in the arm with these transcripts.

    It is the nature of liars to tell different people different stories at different times or in different situations based on potentially different perceived gains (or avoidance of penalties). Therefore the likelihood that Trump Jr, Manafort, Lewendowski, Kushner, Bannon & Hicks all told the same stories to Congress under oath at time index alpha and to Mueller (if interviewed) under oath at time index beta is quite low.

    We KNOW (so far) that Manafort (at least) lied to Congress (per Mueller) and that Mueller has court-acceptable evidence to back that up

    We know that Trump Jr. initially lied in his response to the Trump Tower meeting and that Trump Sr. actually dictated his response from AF 1. Whether that particular lie (concerning what Trump Sr knew about the Trump Tower meeting) was a response to Congress or whether he was even under oath at the time I do not remember. Whether Trump Jr changed his story between his Congressional testimony (if any) and his testimony to Mueller’s team we may not know for a while (if ever). What we DO now know is that Mueller can bounce the two testimonies against each other to see if anything significant changed.

    I’m especially curious about what Priebus/Bannon/Hicks had to say to Congress since their testimony to Congress was VERY likely politically motivated and driven as part of the GOP whitewash of Trump’s actions. I would not be surprised if Trump actually told them what to testify to before Congress.

    I would really like to see some more of Trump’s “inner circle” indicted for their betrayals of the GOP Party at the Convention as a warning to other politicians and party operatives at ALL levels that leadership is ALWAYS a sacred trust that must be honored and respected and is not to be abused or sold to the highest (or most corrupt) bidder.

  • AJ

    The Republicans are just sad. Getting all huffy about how unfair this is and then suggesting the Democrats go after Hillary for her many crimes is pathetic. When they were in control, they had the chance to go after her themselves, but, because Trump put the kibosh on that investigation, they chose not to. So, now is not the time to start throwing tantrums and trying to shift investigations to ones you now claim are important when, when YOU were in control, they weren’t so important back then. You lost. Suck it up and get over it. You had your chance, and you blew it. Though Trump is just as bad as his BFF Hillary (whose actions do merit being brought to light), the Democrats are in control now. Though your savior Trump was supposed to be triumphant during the 2018 elections, he wasn’t able to carry you through to victory. This is what happens when you put faith in false messiahs. Though I am NOT a Democrat or a liberal, as far as I’m concerned, if the Democrats are able to ferret out the truth or help Mueller get to it, then more power to them. Because TRUTH is the only thing that matters. Republicans once stood for truth. Now, apparently, it’s the Democrats who are on Truth’s side (if only because it might damage Trump), so: You go, Dems. As long as they keep the investigation(s) ethical and just—no manufacturing or tampering with evidence—then their efforts should be supported. If Trump is guilty and is working for or colluding with the Russians, then he needs to go. And if the Democrats can make that happen, well, I may not’ve voted for them, but I’ll support their efforts to bring the truth to light. Gee, I never thought I’d ever speak those words or see the day when I was actually ROOTING FOR the Democrats! Thanks, Trump, for being the only politician, ever, who was able to bridge the divide and bring the two sides together! Somehow, though, I doubt you’d be thrilled to know it’s in support of your [political] downfall!

    On a serious note: If the Democrats are able to do what the Republicans wouldn’t and you’re brought to justice, I hope it humbles you enough that you’re driven to seeking the REAL Messiah because He’s the only One Who can give you the help you need.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Well said.

  • John Hinkle

    I don’t think Trump is capable of humility. My guess is, in the event he’s brought to justice, his McClogged arteries will trigger a medical emergency via stroke, heart attack, or a blown mental gasket.

  • Stephen

    I have been both a Democrat and Republican. Neither Party is innocent. I would be an independent but in my state you cannot vote in the primary unless you are a member of that party . Many of the contest are so one side the other party might as well not run someone. It is decide in the primary. About half of the elections I vote in are that way. And it depends in how that office district was drew up, it could be either major party for me. So I do not give a fig about either major political party but a lot about my country.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I vote for the mental gasket – his screws are already quite loose.

  • Ronald Langdon

    I like responding to this clownish, gossiping, wishful thinking poor lost- the -election hopefulls LOL.The Democratic party is the face of Moloch, the cannaanite god whom Milton called the “horrid King besmeared with blood/ Of human sacrifice.”It is a cult of criminality and death. On every political issue, Democrats take the side of chaos and destruction, crime and disorder. They hype the threat of white supremacism while whitewashing Islamic terrorism. They are actively engaged in erasing our history and undermining our rights. They support open borders over National Security;sanctuary cities for criminal aliens and the abolishment of ICE over Law-Abiding citizens and Legal immigration; infanticide over sacredness of human life; dismantling of Western civilization over its preservation. This is not simply wrong—this is very Evil.

  • AJ

    Stephen,

    Please believe me: I love my country. I’ve never been a Democrat (nor ever will be) but, thanks to this last presidential election, have come to understand Reagan’s words about the party’s leaving him. I didn’t leave the Republicans; they left me. I believe in the original tenets of the party. I stand solidly behind our Constitution and Declaration. I do NOT side with Democrats because I stand behind their beliefs. I stand with them now because I think they have the intestinal fortitude to go toe to toe with Trump and not back down but will see this thing through. And I’ll keep standing behind them as long as they don’t get in their own way and try to MAKE things happen or MAKE things up. I’m not blind or being deceived: I don’t trust the Democrats as a rule. I just think, because they can’t stand Trump either, they’ll do what it takes to get to the truth. For me, the most important thing is to get to the truth. The Republicans won’t do that because they either fear Trump, fear his followers, or fear their careers (or all of the above). But this country is hanging together by a very thin thread, which is fraying. Playing footsies with Putin, et al, is NOT the answer and will NOT end well for this country. The truth MUST come to light because, if Trump is guilty in any way, then he has to be stopped. I believe it was Reagan who called us the last great hope. If we don’t ferret out the truth and rid ourselves of the problem, this country will be in the pocket of a true despot (and, in a sense, already is). What hope will there be for the rest of the world if America falls? People still look to us for help, guidance, freedom—whatever is needed. Do I think the Democrats are the ones to uphold the tenets of this country? Not at all. But I do think they’ll be doggedly tenacious in getting to the bottom of this mess or, at least, assist Mueller in doing so. So, if I have to stand with my “enemy” right now in order to tackle a greater threat, then I guess that’s what needs to be. Because this is so serious and the cost is so high.

  • AJ

    John,

    As the man he is now, no, he is NOT capable of humility. There’s too much pride, too much love of “self” in him. However, my prayer for him is that, when all is said and done, he’ll come to the end of all that conceit and narcissism because he won’t have any choice—nowhere to go, no one else to whom to turn. For a great many of us (and I include myself in that), God HAS to allow us to be brought low so that, once we hit the bottom of our “me” mentalities, the only recourse we have is to look up, seeking the only One Who can save us from the messes we’ve made of our lives. When we do look up, God’s there, waiting to extend His hand of mercy and love, to forgive us of all our sins, to help us on the road to becoming better individuals.

    To be honest, I can’t stand the man, what he stands for, or what he’s done/doing to my country, but I try never to forget that God loves him and WANTS him to come into His family. (And, yes, I love him, too, because, as a Christian, Jesus said I have to love people…even Trump. But I’ll admit, more often than not, it takes every OUNCE of the Holy Spirit in me to make myself feel that way!)

    So, though I agree with you that Trump is nowhere near the end of himself (he hasn’t hit rock-bottom yet), I won’t stop praying that that day will come. Because, though he’d never think so, he must be truly miserable inside, just a scared little boy who never felt loved, valued, or important, so, somewhere along the line, he encased himself inside some false bravado, some impenetrable shell of pompous self-aggrandizement because he NEEDS to feel important, valued, and loved. But the only One Who can change that sort of inner decay of the soul is Jesus. And, right now, I think Trump (thanks to too many Christians out there) may actually view himself as a messiah. So, he’ll keep enjoying all the fawning adulation those around him are spewing his way. But there’s going to come a day of reckoning for him (whether that involves this Russia-probe thing, I don’t know). And when it comes, I hope he’s been brought low enough that that once-impenetrable shell has been cracked just enough that God can get through.

    Because God, not Obi-Wan Kenobi, is Trump’s only Hope.

  • Ronald Langdon

    OH MY did someone say—-another faithfull detective Adam Schiff had an encounter with Fusion cofounder Glenn Simpson in the summer of 2018.. methinks he should recuse himself We shall see LOL