Schiff threatens to subpoena FBI

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats seek leverage for trial Pence's office denies Schiff request to declassify call with Ukrainian leader Comey, Schiff to be interviewed by Fox's Chris Wallace MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday threatened to subpoena the FBI for information about the original counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference.

Schiff said he has been unable to get briefings or information on the status or findings of the counterintelligence probe, including on whether it was ever shuttered.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The FBI has an obligation by the National Security Act to brief us on a recent counterintelligence matter. If there are ongoing counterintelligence investigations involving people around the president, they must inform us,” Schiff told reporters after a hearing focused on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s report.

Schiff said he would “use whatever compulsion is necessary” to compel the FBI to provide information to Congress, though he did not give a timeline on a potential subpoena.

“I’m not going to comment on a specific date, but we are determined to get answers and we are running out of patience,” Schiff said.

The FBI declined to comment Wednesday. 

Schiff, who is spearheading his panel’s own investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE’s foreign dealings and finances, has repeatedly raised questions about the findings and status of the counterintelligence investigation that proceeded Mueller’s probe.

Schiff said he has not been briefed on the investigation since Trump fired James ComeyJames Brien ComeyInspector general testifies on FBI failures: Five takeaways Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe GOP senator to FBI: 'Someone's got to be fired' MORE as FBI director in May 2017, despite multiple overtures. He is particularly interested in what became of the counterintelligence investigation, the existence of which Comey revealed in show-stopping congressional testimony in March 2017.

Schiff and other Democrats argue that numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, while not deemed criminal by Mueller, raise counterintelligence and national security concerns.

Mueller concluded his investigation in late March and did not find sufficient evidence to charge members or associates of the Trump campaign with conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the election.

The special counsel's 448-page report details more than 100 contacts between figures linked to the Trump campaign and Russia-connected individuals. The related counterintelligence investigation is only sparingly mentioned in one paragraph of the report.

“Of all the questions that Mueller helped resolve, he left many critical questions unanswered,” Schiff said in opening remarks at the hearing Wednesday, which featured testimony from former officials on the implications of Mueller’s report.

“What happened to the counterintelligence investigation? Were there other forms of compromise, like money laundering, left out, uninvestigated or referred to other offices? Were individuals granted security clearances that shouldn’t have them? And are there individuals still operating in the administration that leave America vulnerable?” Schiff said. “We are determined to find out.”

--Updated at 12:45 p.m.