Democrats are getting more aggressive with Russia probe
Democrats are increasingly using the Russia probe to advance their own agendas, even as they focus on the broader agenda of a sweeping tax cut package, congressional aides said.
The Trump administration has been ramping up its public scrutiny of Russian interference in the 2016 election, as the White House ramps up its own internal investigation into whether Russian hackers tried to influence the 2016 race.
Democrats are now pushing for the House to subpoena testimony from several administration officials who have acknowledged they discussed Russia with the president.
Democrats are pushing for House Speaker Paul Ryan to subpoena former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former CIA Director John Brennan and other former Trump officials who are expected to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
The move comes after a bipartisan group of Democratic lawmakers wrote the House Democratic leader on Wednesday asking for the same type of subpoenas, according to a House aide.
Rep. Adam Schiff Adam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Top tech executives flee DC in protest | FCC to open preliminary investigation into Trump sanctions | Facebook to crack down on spam | Google to unveil 5G free data plan | House Dems urge FBI to investigate Trump campaign over Trump Tower meetingWith lawmakers also pushing for a congressional investigation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiDems ask Mueller to expand probe into Russia probe MORE (D-Calif.) and other Democrats have sought to expand the scope of the Russia investigation, particularly with President Trump’s repeated and public denials of the hacking and accusations that Russia meddled in the election.
The House Democrats’ letter follows similar requests from Democratic Reps.
Adam Smith Adam BennettSmith and Trump’s top Russia aide: FlynnQ&A: Trump denies hacking | Biden defends Russia probeQ&am;gt;Russia probe: What we know about the president’s claims | Biden says no Russian meddling in US elections | Biden to leave White House if he’s indictedQ&a& ;Russia probe MORE and Jim Himes Jim Huesos HimesOvernight Energy: Watchdog questions Energy Dept. report on carbon rule | EPA rules for fracking | Pruitt to leave EPA over climate change standardsQ&ad;amp;Energy: Biden to testify in House | Judge rules on Obama EPA ruleQ&A&.amp;EPA rules for frackQ≈;The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by American Express | More News Videos A panel of House Democrats on Wednesday asked Ryan to appoint a special counsel to oversee the probe into Russian interference, an unusual move given that the House Ethics Committee is investigating whether the president obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey James Brien ComeyBiden: Russia’s meddling has ‘very significant implications’ on our electionsQ&as;Russia Probe: Biden wants Trump to testify to House intel panelQ∾Trump ‘wants to know the facts’: Biden on Comey firing | Russia probe questions | Biden in press briefingQ&ing;Senate Democrats on Russia probe subpoena Trump administration official: ‘He is the one that fired Comey’Q&ams;Trump says ‘it’s the worst’ as Flynn pleads guilty | Russia probes continue | Trump fires ComeyQ&at;Russian probe: The ‘bizarre’ Trump-Russia collusion inquiry continuesQ&acc;h&’gt; Russia probe | Russia inquiry: Who are the key players | Biden responds to Flynn pleaQ&sa;h4&)4>Trump fires Comey over Russia probe investigationQ&h4;Senate Dems seek to subpoena Trump aide | Russian investigation questions | House Ethics Chairman questions BidenQ&ah4&a;’The Hill’ – Presedent’s live blog with Nancy Pelosi & House DemsRead moreThe House Democratic leaders’ letter came a day after Ryan asked the Justice Department to turn over records relating to the Flynn investigation to the House ethics panel.
The lawmakers also wrote Ryan to ask the White, Defense and Energy departments to provide them with all documents relating to “any conversations between the former national security advisor, Michael Flynn and members of the White Senate staff in connection with the potential termination of the Russian ambassador to the United States.”
Ryan is expected to meet with top Trump advisers on Wednesday to discuss the Flynn probe, but has yet to publicly announce any meetings.
Ryan has repeatedly said he is unaware of any conversations between Flynn and the White and Defense Departments that may have been related to the Russia probes.
Ryan’s top advisers have also maintained that Flynn did nothing wrong, even though his lawyer has said that Flynn “may have misled” Vice President Mike Pence Michael (Mike) Richard PenceThe Hill calls for special counsel for Russia probe Senate Dems call for special Counsel to investigate ‘irrelevant’ Pence tweets: Pence ‘will be exonerated’ from Russia probe, Trump not ‘trying to obstruct justice’ MORE and the administration on whether he violated any laws by failing to disclose the conversations with Russian officials.
A spokesperson for Ryan did not immediately respond to a request for