House Intel Committee votes to release dozens of its interview transcripts from Russia probe

House Intel Committee votes to release dozens of its interview transcripts from Russia probe
Our man on Capitol Hill. (Image: Screen grab of CBS video)

By Chuck Ross

The House Intelligence Committee voted Tuesday to release dozens of interview transcripts from the panel’s Russia probe.

The committee interviewed 73 witnesses as part of its broad investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. On Sept. 28, 2018, Republicans on the committee held a vote to send 53 of the transcripts to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for the classification review.

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Democrats, who now control the panel, scheduled a vote Tuesday to move forward with releasing the documents. It is unclear when Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the committee, will decide to publish the transcripts, though their release could come within days.

It is unclear why the review process has taken so long. An ODNI spokesperson told the DCNF on May 31 that the classification review process for the transcripts would be complete “very soon.” (RELATED: DNI Says It Will Finish Review Of House Intel Transcripts ‘Very Soon’)

But once the transcripts are released, the thousands of pages of documents are likely to reveal new information that the committee gathered as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The committee interviewed numerous Trump associates and campaign advisers as part of the probe.

The brain trust, briefing Congress in 2014. (Image: Defense Intelligence Agency)

Many of the interviews were also part of what Republicans called an “investigation of the investigators,” which focused on the FBI’s handling of the infamous Steele dossier, as well as whether Obama administration officials improperly leaked information about Trump associates.

The committee interviewed numerous Obama-appointed government officials, including James Comey, John Brennan, Jim Clapper, Mike Rogers, Susan Rice and Andrew McCabe. It is unclear which of those interview transcripts will be released.

Committee Republicans released a report on the investigation on April 27, 2018, that said there was no evidence that Team Trump colluded with Russia.

The special counsel’s office arrived at a similar conclusion. A report of that probe said that there was no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia, or that any Trump associates worked as agents of Russia.

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