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 NunesHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Lawmaker-linked businesses received PPP loans Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November 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 SchiffSupreme Court rulings reignite Trump oversight wars in Congress Schiff to Vindman: 'Right does not matter to Trump. But it matters to you' Democrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing 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 Sessions Senate outlook slides for GOP Supreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama Justice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report MORE, White House communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksCuomo turned down Trump invitation to participate in April press briefing: report Trump shakes up White House communications team Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges MORE and former campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiTrump World boils over as campaign hits skids The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump turns to immigration; primary day delays expected Sunday shows preview: Bolton delivers bombshell while US tackles COVID-19, police brutality 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 on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE and fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Bolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed The Seila Law case: Liberty and political firing MORE.

Other subpoena targets he suggests include Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpSouth Dakota governor flew with Trump on Air Force One after being exposed to coronavirus: report Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Trump Jr. knocks CNN's Chris Cuomo over interview with father: 'I'm not pretending to be a journalist' 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 ClintonTrump to visit Georgia next week Former NY Rep. Claudia Tenney to face Anthony Brindisi in House rematch Powell takes on Trump over Confederate flag MORE.