One thing was made crystal clear in a Wednesday press briefing on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election: this investigation is a very big and very serious deal.
In an hour-long appearance, committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice-Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) framed their probe as one of most ambitious investigative efforts ever taken on by a congressional committee. Burr, a 22-year veteran of Capitol Hill, framed the investigation as “one of the biggest” he’s seen in his tenure in Washington, D.C.
Warner concurred, saying, “When we started this, we saw the scope, what was involved, I said it was the most important thing I have ever taken on in my public life. I believe that more firmly now.”
Their solemn assurances to investigate the full scope of Russia’s involvement, to look into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian officials, and to produce a truly bipartisan report on their findings offered a stark contrast from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation, led by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). The House’s probe came to a standstill this week over Nunes’ overly close relationship with the President, and he and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) haven’t appeared together publicly in days.
According to CNN the Senator Intelligence Committee already has a slate of witnesses ready to be called:
Burr and Warner say they have 20 witnesses they plan to interview and have scheduled interviews with five of them so far. The committee leaders said that they are happy that President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort have agreed to testify, but they have not yet decided when they will bring them in.
"To date, we have made 20 requests for individuals to be interviewed by the committee," Burr said. "As we stand here today, five are already scheduled on the books, and probably within the next 10 days the remaining 15 will have a scheduled date for those individuals to be interviewed by our staff. We anticipate inviting additional individuals to come and be interviewed, and ultimately some of those interviewed individuals may turn into private or public hearings by the committee, but yet to be determined."
It is rumored that one of the witnesses they have in mind is Christopher Steele, that former MI-6 agent responsible for that Russian dossier.
If true that puts the Senate WAY ahead of the House in getting to the bottom of what happened in 2016.
I have to imagine that Trump's orange tinged assholes slammed right shut as he watched that news conference yesterday.