Schiff says Trump’s written responses to Mueller are not adequate

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffMcCarthy urges Democrats to pull surveillance bill Key Senate Democrat withdraws support from House measure on web browsing data Trump urges GOP to vote against bill reauthorizing surveillance powers MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally MORE to sit down for an in-person interview with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE and his team, saying that the president's written statements to the special counsel's office were insufficient.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schiff, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Mueller needed the opportunity to ask follow-up questions based on the president's responses.

“There really needs to be a live interview with the president because you need to be able to ask follow-up questions in real time," Schiff told CNN on Wednesday.

Schiff also said the committee, under new Democratic leadership next year, would pursue phone records related to the setup of June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign associates and a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"In terms of whether [the president] was aware of the meeting at Trump Tower, there is important, relevant information that we were not allowed to get [previously]," Schiff told CNN.

"One of the key documents, for example, that we are going to pursue are the phone records that would show who was on that call [Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. hits Howard Stern for going 'establishment,' 'acting like Hillary' Trump Jr., GOP senator lash out at Facebook for taking down protest pages on stay-at-home orders Trump jokes he'll 'look into' pardon for 'Tiger King' after asked by reporter at virus briefing MORE] had sandwiched between those calls to set up the meeting at Trump Tower," he added.

Schiff has promised that the committee, which he is expected to lead, will take greater action under Democratic leadership to pursue investigations Democrats demanded unsuccessfully under the GOP-led House. 

He has also threatened to press acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the president's replacement for former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Memo: Trump tweets cross into new territory Sessions goes after Tuberville's coaching record in challenging him to debate The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip MORE, on possible ties to the White House or Mueller's Russia investigation.

"If he has any involvement whatsoever in this Russia probe, we are going to find out whether he made commitments to the president about the probe, whether he is serving as a back channel to the president or his lawyers about the probe, whether he's doing anything to interfere with the probe," Schiff said earlier this month in an interview.

"Mr. Whitaker needs to understand that he will be called to answer."