House Dems demand briefing on Russia, Flynn

House Dems demand briefing on Russia, Flynn
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday demanded a “comprehensive briefing” on Russia by the end of the month, including details on former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials. 
 
Together with House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify Mueller to give extended testimony after appearance postponed Mueller testimony likely to be delayed for one week MORE (D-Calif.), Pelosi insisted the acting head of national intelligence provide a briefing that includes the unredacted transcripts of “any intercepted conversations or communications [Flynn] had with Russian officials.” 
 
“While we fully expect that the committee’s inquiry will contribute to our full understanding of the Russian intervention, the severity and urgency of the counterintelligence threat from Moscow demands more immediate action,” Pelosi and Schiff said in a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Michael Dempsey. 
 
The transcripts of Flynn’s Dec. 29 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak have become a point of fierce contention even among Republicans on Capitol Hill.
 
Some lawmakers argue that they should be provided to the two Intelligence Committees conducting probes into Russia, but others insist the wiretaps were inappropriate to begin with. 
 
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Pelosi and Schiff asked that the briefing be given to leadership of both the House and Senate as well as the full House and Senate Intelligence Committees. 
 
Both the Senate and House Intel committees had previously launched investigations into Russian hacking of Democratic campaign offices during the election.
 
After a frantic week in which Flynn’s resignation has dominated the news cycle, both appear to now be open to including the former intelligence official in the scope of their probes. 
 
Flynn stepped down Monday following revelations that he'd misled Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceJewish group plans DC protest to occupy ICE detention centers Trump to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants at US-Mexico border Pence aide: Trump's 'intent' wasn't racist MORE and other top administration officials about the content of his December phone calls with Kislyak. 
 
Flynn told Pence the topic of Obama-era U.S. sanctions on Russia had not been broached, a claim he walked back after The Washington Post reported Friday that the Justice Department had intercepted information proving it false.
 
Senate GOP leaders earlier in the week had indicated they were open to expanding that probe to include Flynn, while House Intelligence Committee head Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had balked, arguing Flynn was protected by "executive privilege." 
 
But Schiff said he spoke with Nunes on Wednesday afternoon, and told The Hill that he believes House Republicans are now open to investigating Flynn. 
 
"He assured me that we would investigate everything that the Senate is looking at, including the Flynn allegations," Schiff said, "and that he will not preclude any area that Democratic members thought was a subject of legitimate investigation.”