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Schiff pressures Nunes on warrants for Trump insiders

Schiff pressures Nunes on warrants for Trump insiders
© Greg Nash

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is pressuring committee chairman Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesNSA places former GOP political operative in top lawyer position after Pentagon chief's reported order CIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Bill Belichick turns down Medal of Freedom from Trump MORE (R-Calif.) to issue subpoenas for key figures in the Trump campaign and administration as part of the committee's probe into Russia's election interference.

In a letter to Nunes on Wednesday, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAngus King warns of 'grave danger' of Trump revealing classified information Schiff says 'massive intelligence and security failure' led to Capitol breach Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration MORE (D-Calif.) demanded the committee subpoena several members of the Trump administration, as well as former Trump campaign officials, including Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds MORE, White House communications director Hope HicksHope HicksTrump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus Women set to take key roles in Biden administration MORE and former campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey LewandowskiSunday shows preview: Riots roil Washington as calls for Trump's removal grow Trump's refusal to concede sows confusion among staff Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions MORE.

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Schiff also pressed Nunes to issue subpoenas to two companies, Deutsche Bank and Twitter, to obtain information related to Russian meddling efforts in the 2016 election, as well as general subpoenas to the White House for evidence of conversations between President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE and fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyComey: Biden should consider pardoning Trump Comey: 'Greatest punishment' for Trump after Capitol riot is to 'move past' his presidency Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE.

Other subpoena targets he suggests include Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpSinger Taylor Dayne responds to criticism after Mar-a-Lago performance: 'I try to stay non-political' More voters say pardons for Trump's family would be inappropriate: poll Trump pardon scandal would doom his 2024 campaign MORE and Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen.

"To date, there are dozens of important witnesses who have yet been invited, let alone compelled to come before the committee. And all too many of the witnesses who have appeared, have refused to answer direct questions of core investigative interest to the Committee, and have asserted unprecedented and risible claims of privilege," Schiff wrote.

“The integrity and independence of the Committee and Congress’ investigative and enforcement powers are at stake. To be credible, the Russia investigation cannot simply take witnesses at their word, or accept baseless assertions of privilege where none apply. Instead, the Committee must verify assertions made by witnesses in testimony, compel testimony as well as the full production of responsive documents, and, where necessary, move to enforce subpoenas," he added.

In addition, Schiff called for former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon to be held in contempt of Congress following his refusal to answer questions related to his time on the Trump transition team. The committee should "compel the White House to permit Bannon to testify to Congress fully and without constraints," Schiff said. 

Schiff has in the past threatened to hold Sessions in contempt of Congress over not producing documents as well, but did not go that far in his letter Wednesday.

The letter notes that the list of demanded subpoenas is "partial," and that Nunes and committee Republicans are refusing to issue others as well.

Hicks became the most recent target of the committee's probe on Tuesday, testifying before lawmakers for several hours. Like Bannon, she declined to answer some questions about the Trump transition and her work in the White House.

Schiff claimed Hicks had refused to answer questions on "key events such as the fabrication of that statement about the Trump Tower meeting," referring to an initial statement issued by Trump on his eldest son's meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised "dirt" on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRep. John Katko: Why I became the first Republican lawmaker to support impeachment Can we protect our country — from our rulers, and ourselves? For Joe Biden, an experienced foreign policy team MORE.