At a business meeting last Friday, the House intelligence committee voted to release transcripts of 53 interviews conducted as part of the Trump-Russia investigation, after they are reviewed by the intelligence community.
On Sunday, Rep. Trey Gowdy, a member of the intelligence committee, told “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo he’s eager for the public to read the questions that were asked of people, including various Trump associates (Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, Jr., Hope Hicks, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone) and various Obama administration officials (James Clapper, Sally Yates) and others.
Well, you’re going to see that (Reps.) Tom Rooney, Mike Conaway and I asked collusion, coordination, conspiracy questions of every single witness, from Jared Kushner to Donald Trump Jr. to Steve Bannon to Susan Rice, Samantha Power. I want — I want your viewers and my fellow citizens to see every question that was asked.
And what they will learn is, Republicans were just as interested in finding out what happened with respect to collusion, coordination, conspiracy as anyone else.
And what they will also learn is that Adam Schiff wanted to go back 25 years and ask questions of witnesses while they were in junior high school. And then he goes and gets the Spark notes from the “Brothers Karamazov” and decides to ask about Russian — ominous-sounding Russian names that none of the witnesses had ever heard of.
So I can’t wait for the transcripts to come out and defeat this narrative that Adam Schiff is the only one that is concerned about collusion. You can rest assured this, Maria. If there were evidence of collusion, Adam would have leaked it a long time ago. But there is not. And I can’t wait for the transcripts to be public.
In a statement released on Friday, Schiff said, “This is not transparency, only a further subterfuge.”
For the last six months, we (Democrats) have urged the Chairman and Majority to release all of the transcripts of our interviews and proceedings as they committed to do when the Russia investigation began. They refused. Now, on the last day of session before the election, Republicans claim to have discovered a newfound commitment to transparency. When the Chairman was pressed on whether the timing of this sudden decision was directed by the White House or the President’s legal defense team, he refused to answer.
However, as has often been the case, even this claim does not withstand scrutiny: The GOP does not want ALL of the transcripts released and wish to conceal certain interviews from the public, including key interviews with Director Comey, Admiral Rogers, Director Brennan, and Rep. Rohrabacher. Apparently, the Majority does not want the public to see the testimony of these agency heads, as well as that of (Rep. Dana) Rohrabacher.
As reported by The Hill, Rep. Mike Conaway, who led the House intelligence Committee’s Trump-Russia probe after Devin Nunes recused himself, “later told reporters that the transcripts of interviews with Rohrabacher and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) had been withheld as a courtesy because they are members of Congress. He said the other transcripts were from closed hearings with agency heads.”
Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has said he wants the transcripts to be released before the election.
“I think full transparency is in order here, so I expect to make those available from our committee to the American public here in the next few weeks,” Nunes told “Fox News Sunday” last month.