(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said he is sad but not surprised that committee Republicans have ended their investigation into Russian “collusion.”
He said Democrats will continue to follow-up any new leads that come to them, and if Democrats retake the House in November, he indicated they might reopen the investigation.
Schiff issued a statement on Monday, saying in part:
“Today, the House Majority has announced it is terminating the Russia investigation, leaving to others the important work of determining the full extent of Russian interference in our election, the role of U.S. persons connected to the Trump campaign in that intervention, possible efforts to obstruct the investigation by the President, and most important, what needs to be done to protect the country going forward.”
Schiff said Republicans have “been under great pressure” to end the probe, but actually doing so, he said, is “another tragic milestone for this Congress.” Schiff said Republicans have placed the interests of protecting the president over protecting the country, and history will judge those actions “harshly.”
Schiff repeated those sentiments Monday night in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, saying Republicans viewed their job as protecting the president and were calling in witnesses just to “go through the motions of doing a credible investigation.”
Schiff said if witnesses told the committee they did not collude or conspire with the Russians, the Republicans were content to take their word for it.
“They were not willing to subpoena the records that would prove or disprove what witnesses were saying,” Schiff told Maddow. “Essentially, it’s the intelligence committee majority saying we’d just rather not know if it’s going to be bad news. And that is, I think, a betrayal of the promise we made that we would follow the facts wherever they lead.”
Schiff said Democrats will continue to investigate any new information that comes to them.
“We’re going to continue to do the investigation. It will obviously be much more difficult,” he said. “And we’ll continue to put pieces together as we learn things publicly, through investigative journalism, through the work of Bob Mueller, through the indictments.”
Schiff said in the days to come, Democrats intend to “demonstrate all of the investigative leads that need to be followed, the witnesses that should have been called, the documents that should have been produced, in the hope that it will guide journalists, that it will guide our colleagues in the Senate, and may even be of assistance to Bob Mueller.
Maddow asked Schiff, if Democrats take back the House in the midterm elections, will they reopen the investigation with Schiff as chairman of the House intelligence committee?
“What I’d expect is we will look at the work that's been done,” Schiff responded. “If the work has been done by the senate intelligence committee or by special counsel Bob Mueller and we’ve done a full investigation, that may not be ne necessary. And if it hasn't, then we’ll have to evaluate what work there remains to be done to protect the country.
You know, one issue that concerns me, for example, Rachel, is we were not allowed to investigate whether the leverage the Russians have over this president is money laundering. --whether the Russians did here what they have done elsewhere, laundering money through the Trump organization. The Senate is not investigating that, either. Now I hope that Bob Mueller is, but should issues like that that expose the country to leverage or over the president of the United States not go investigated, then we would need to.
And I want to say one other thing that really stands out to me about this sad chapter in our committee and that is, I think many of us could see that Donald Trump was going to be a very poor president. What we couldn't see is how many people would be complicit in that, how many people would be willing to resign their obligations under the Constitution in our system of checks and balances in the service of that deeply flawed president.
Our Constitution is only as good as the people who uphold it, and by shutting down this investigation, it shows that the people upholding it are really not living up to their responsibility.