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Schiff Statement on Vote to Send Russia Investigation Transcripts for Classification Review and Eventual Release

Washington, September 28, 2018

Washington, DC – Today, after the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) voted to send fifty-three transcripts to the Director of National Intelligence for classification review and eventual release, HPSCI Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) released the following statement:

“For the last six months, we have urged the Chairman and Majority to release all of the transcripts of our interviews and proceedings as they committed to do when the Russia investigation began. They refused. Now, on the last day of session before the election, Republicans claim to have discovered a newfound commitment to transparency. When the Chairman was pressed on whether the timing of this sudden decision was directed by the White House or the President’s legal defense team, he refused to answer.

“However, as has often been the case, even this claim does not withstand scrutiny: The GOP does not want ALL of the transcripts released and wish to conceal certain interviews from the public, including key interviews with Director Comey, Admiral Rogers, Director Brennan, and Rep. Rohrabacher. Apparently, the Majority does not want the public to see the testimony of these agency heads, as well as that of Rohrabacher.

“This is not transparency, only a further subterfuge.

“The Majority also rejected the immediate release of all unredacted transcripts to Special Counsel Mueller, so that his team would have the benefit of the evidence they contain and so that he may determine which witnesses may have perjured themselves before our committee. They have no wish to assist in the Russia investigation by either our committee or the Special Counsel, and apparently wish to protect those witnesses who may have lied to protect themselves or the President.”

Background:

During the business meeting, HPSCI Minority Members made four motions after supporting the initial motions to send fifty-three transcripts to the Director of National Intelligence for classification review and eventual release. Each of these motions were blocked by the Majority on party-line votes: 

  • That the Committee authorize the immediate provision to Special Counsel Mueller’s office of all Executive Session transcripts – both classified and unclassified interviews, in complete and unredacted form – produced during the course of the Committee’s Russia investigation;
  • That the Committee, following past practice, authorize the release all unclassified transcripts following a review by the Committee Security Director and bipartisan staff for personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive information within 10 days;
  • That the Committee authorize the additional six transcripts of interviews and hearings not included in the Majority’s original list – interviews of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Dana Rohrabacher; hearings with Director Comey, Admiral Rogers and Director Comey, and Director Brennan – as well as the transcript of the business meeting in which the Majority blocked the release of transcripts in March 2018; and
  • That the Committee issue a number of subpoenas, which the Minority previously has requested but the Majority has rejected or ignored, including: Deutsche Bank records and testimony related to potential Russian money laundering; Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s phone records related to the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting; certain Twitter Direct Messages between individuals affiliated with the campaign and Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Guccifer 2.0; Trump Organization documents regarding any business transactions with Russia; and any tapes, memoranda or other documentation created based on President Trump’s personal conversations with Director Comey.