Schiff Wants Trump's Phone Records; Will Look for Money Laundering

By Susan Jones | December 11, 2018 | 9:17 AM EST

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the incoming chair of the House intelligence committee, said on Tuesday committee Democrats are now in the process of forming their "investigative plan," and although it focuses on Donald Trump, it also includes intelligence matters involving Saudi Arabia and North Korea.

Schiff said former Trump attorney Michael Cohen tops the list of witnesses he will call. And he said there are "numerous documents" committee Democrats were not allowed to see previously, but with subpoena power, they may soon be able to obtain.

"One of the first documents that I want to make outreach to get is the phone records that would indicate whether the president was in the know about the Trump tower meeting with the Russians in advance," Schiff said.


"That is, the meeting with Jared Kushner and with (Trump's) son and with Paul Manafort that he (Trump) denied knowledge of. We know that there's a call from a blocked number during the setup of that meeting. We want to know was that from the president of the United States."

Schiff said his committee also plans to do "deep dives" into Saudi Arabia and North Korea:

One of the responsibilities of our committee is to determine whether we're getting the best intelligence from these places, what those intelligence agencies can tell us, not just about the Kashoggi murder but about our reliance on Saudi Arabia, on the stability of Saudi Arabia, on Saudi's role in the war in Yemen, the peace process.

With respect to North Korea, can we believe the assurances by our president that we can now sleep well at night because North Korea is irrevocably on the path of denuclearization. That isn't consistent, I think, with what I'm seeing. And we want to make sure that the country and policymakers have the best – use of the best possible intelligence to assess our foreign policy. So that will be absolute priorities.

We are not going to be able to have the luxury of waiting until Bob Mueller is finished (with his Trump-Russia investigation). There was some discussion of that initially, whether the Congress should defer to the special counsel. That would have meant we would be deferring for a year and a half.

But we are going to look at issues in particular that may not be the subject of the special counsel's work, and money laundering is very much among them.

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