House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced today a broad investigation his committee would undertake “beyond Russia” into whether President Trump’s financial interests are driving his actions.
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.
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.”
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.
Schiff’s announcement is the most detailed look yet into how congressional Democrats will investigate Trump’s finances and possible ties to foreign entities, and how Democrats are sure to continue probing Trump and his team well after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation had concluded.
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 today. “It’s called presidential harassment and it is unfortunate.”
Trump’s comments followed his State of the Union speech last night in which he warned Democrats against undertaking “ridiculous partisan investigations.”
Schiff responded to Trump’s attack on Twitter, saying:
I can understand why the idea of meaningful oversight terrifies the President. Several of his close associates are going to jail, others await trial, and criminal investigations continue.
We’re going to do our job and won’t be distracted or intimidated by threats or attacks.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 6, 2019
The House Intelligence Committee met for the first time in the new Congress today and took its first action by voting to send more than 50 transcripts from its Russia investigation interviews to Mueller.
The committee already sent one transcript to Mueller in December after the special counsel’s office requested Roger Stone’s interview.
Federal prosecutors accused Stone of lying to the committee in his seven-count indictment last month.