Schiff: GOP ‘refused’ to issue subpoena for mystery Trump Jr. call
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday for refusing to issue a subpoena for Donald Trump Jr.’s phone records to determine whether he received permission from his father to meet with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.
Schiff told The Washington Post that a blocked number in Trump Jr.’s phone records, recorded right after he set up the specifics of the Trump Tower meeting, could belong to President Trump. But he said that Republicans on the committee refused to issue a subpoena to determine the identity of the blocked caller.
The anonymous call was placed in between two other calls between Trump Jr. and Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani singer and businessman.
“We sought to determine whether that number belonged to the president, because we also ascertained that then-candidate Trump used a blocked number,” Schiff said. “That would tell us whether Don Jr. sought his father’s permission to take the meeting, and [whether] that was the purpose of that call.”
The GOP “refused,” Schiff says. “They didn’t want to know whether he had informed his father and sought his permission to take that meeting with the Russians.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority released its full report on Russian interference during the 2016 election on Friday. The report, which Democrats did not support, faults both the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns for “poor judgment and ill-considered actions” during the election.
“While the Committee found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government, the investigation did find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns,” the report reads.
Democrats, including Schiff, the committee’s ranking member, blasted the committee’s report as a partisan sham. They say the investigation was cut short despite the lack of key documents and interviews.
“Throughout the investigation, Committee Republicans chose not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, instead adopting the role of defense counsel for key investigation witnesses,” Schiff wrote in a statement earlier Friday.