House Intel votes to send transcripts to Mueller
(CNN) — The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday voted to send more than four dozen unredacted transcripts from its Russia investigation interviews to special counsel Robert Mueller.
The panel approved the motion by voice vote to send the transcripts, according to Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas. The panel decided to provide its interview transcripts to Mueller as its first action under new Chairman Adam Schiff, who has pledged to reopen several elements of the panel’s Russia probe that Republicans ended last March.
The committee already sent one transcript to Mueller in December after the special counsel’s office requested Roger Stone’s interview. Federal prosecutors accused Stone of lying to the committee in his seven-count indictment last month.
Schiff has said that he wanted to send the transcripts to Mueller for review to see whether any other witnesses who appeared before the committee committed perjury.
In addition to the accusations against Stone, which he pleaded not guilty to last week, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in his 2017 testimony about how long discussions surrounding a Trump Tower Moscow project extended into the 2016 campaign.
When the committee was controlled by Republicans In the last Congress, Schiff tried to send the unredacted transcripts to Mueller, but Republicans blocked his motion, arguing that Mueller had not requested them.
The other interviews that will now be sent to the special counsel include Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior campaign aides Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon and Hope Hicks. They also include numerous Obama administration officials and others in Trump’s orbit who were interviewed during the committee’s yearlong probe.
The committee already voted in November under former Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, to make its interview transcripts public. But they are currently being reviewed for classified material by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence ahead of a public release.
In a statement, Nunes said he would push Democrats to vote to immediately release to the public all of the committee’s interview transcripts that were conducted in an unclassified setting, slamming an “unacceptable delay” in the Executive Branch’s declassification process. That would include most of the panel’s Russia investigation interviews.
Nunes also said he had requested the Democrats agree to subpoena “numerous witnesses whose testimony the Democrats had previously sought,” though he did not identify the individuals he was seeking to subpoena.
The statement underscored the role-reversal for Schiff and Nunes in the Democratic-led Congress when it comes to the Russia investigation: In the last Congress, Schiff made numerous requests for subpoenas and committee actions that were rejected by the Republican majority.