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 NunesHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Lawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing 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 SchiffSchiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data 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 SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE, White House communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle Hope Hicks agrees to testify before House panel MORE and former campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiMichael Caputo eyes congressional bid Clinton lawyer: Mueller's failure to draw conclusion on obstruction a 'massive dereliction' of duty Mueller's facts vs Trump's spin 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 John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE and fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFive memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Five memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Under Trump, our democracy is for sale MORE.

Other subpoena targets he suggests include Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community Lieu trolls Trump with 'warning' to foreign powers on office door Lieu trolls Trump with 'warning' to foreign powers on office door 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 ClintonHouse Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally It's about the delegates, stupid MORE.