Top Intel Dem: FBI director holding back Russia info

Top Intel Dem: FBI director holding back Russia info
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mueller has subpoenaed Bannon in Russia probe: report MORE (D-Calif.) says FBI Director James Comey is holding back information about his bureau’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“I would say at this point we know less than a fraction of what the FBI knows,” Schiff told reporters after a briefing with Comey Thursday, according to Politico.

“I appreciate we had a long briefing and testimony from the director today, but in order for us to do our investigation in a thorough and credible way, we’re going to need the FBI to fully cooperate,” added Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

“[The FBI must] be willing to tell us the length and breadth of any counterintelligence investigations they are conducting. At this point, the director was not willing to do that.”

During the briefing, Schiff said Comey faced “repeated questions about the scope of any investigation they were doing” and “individuals that may be the subject of any counterterrorism investigation.” 

“The director declined to answer those questions,” he said. "It was unclear whether that decision was a decision he was making on his own or a decision that he is making in consultation with the Department of Justice.”

“That can’t persist. Because we’re gonna need that information. And we’re better off getting that through the voluntary cooperation of the FBI than having to contemplate whether we need to subpoena the FBI.”

Schiff added that an independent special prosecutor must investigate ties between President Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia in the light of the new controversy surrounding Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants DOJ wades into archdiocese fight for ads on DC buses Overnight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector MORE.

Reports emerged late Wednesday that Sessions spoke twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year.

Sessions did not disclose talking with Kislyak during his confirmation hearings for attorney general, testifying under oath that he “did not have communications with the Russians.”

The attorney general said Thursday he would recuse himself if necessary from any federal probe into links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

“I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself,” the former GOP senator from Alabama told NBC News. "There’s no doubt about that.”

Democrats are now calling for Sessions to recuse himself from any probe into the matter, and some are calling for his resignation.