Schiff: Trump-linked firm needs to testify before Congress

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffA new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign Officers offer harrowing accounts at first Jan. 6 committee hearing Live coverage: House panel holds first hearing on Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Cambridge Analytica, the data firm the Trump campaign used during the 2016 elections, needs to testify before Congress about alleged misuse of Facebook data.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee threatened to subpoena Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix to make this happen. Schiff added that he wants the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower named in the report, Christopher Wylie, to speak with the committee as well.

“Despite our request, and as set out in our status report, the committee has not had the opportunity to talk with numerous Cambridge Analytica personnel who may have knowledge of this and other issues — they must now be brought in for interviews,” Schiff said in a statement on Saturday morning.

Schiff separately told ABC’s “This Week” that the ties the firm has to Russian groups and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange need to be investigated, and complained that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are preventing his panel from doing so.

Schiff said an investigation should focus on “that misappropriate information used by this digital arm of the Trump campaign to manipulate American voters, and of course the links between Cambridge Analytica and Julian Assange."


The California Democrat also said that Facebook’s role in the matter should be scrutinized and that it should explain the “long delay” in suspending its relationship with Nix.

A Democratic committee aide clarified that House Intelligence Democrats want to speak with Facebook “in the coming days” to arrange a briefing or Congressional testimony.

Schiff said that he wants the company to provide answers on “why it provided private user information to an academic, how they have informed users in advance of these kinds of data transfers, and whether it can demonstrate that this data has indeed been destroyed.”

Facebook said on Sunday that it is open to discussing its relationship with Cambridge Analytica with legislators and attorneys general who have expressed interest in the matter.

“We are in the process of conducting a comprehensive internal and external review as we work to determine the accuracy of the claims that the Facebook data in question still exists. That is where our focus lies as we remain committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information,” Paul Grewal, Facebook deputy general counsel, said in a statement on Sunday.

On Saturday, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharManchin 'can't imagine' supporting change to filibuster for voting rights Hillicon Valley: Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation | Amazon fined 6M by EU regulators Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation MORE (D-Minn.) similarly called for Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergDemocrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation Activists protest Facebook's 'failure' on disinformation with body bags outside DC office Budowsky: How Biden can defeat COVID-19 for good MORE to testify before Congress regarding the company's relationship with Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica reportedly obtained and kept the private information of 50 million people without their permission, according to Facebook last week. Facebook suspended the firm on Friday.

Schiff said that the CEO of the firm has reached out to Assange in the past and that there are links between the firm and a Russian oil company that wanted information about reaching American voters.

The House GOP announced last week they are concluding the Intelligence panel investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election. Democrats dispute that the probe is done and say more testimony should be heard, including testimony from representatives of Cambridge Analytica.

It was "premature for the Republicans to shut us down," Schiff said Sunday.

“All of that needs to be investigated and the premature conclusion of this investigation doesn’t allow us to do our job,” he said.

-Updated 3:30 p.m.