Facing pressure from President Donald Trump’s acting spy chief, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been forced to begin releasing transcripts from his committee’s investigation into alleged Trump–Russia collusion, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
Dozens of witness testimony transcripts are said to soon be set for release, according to Politico.
Controlling the collusion narrative
“Shifty” Schiff has been embroiled in many major controversies involving President Trump over the last few years — but he has long been less than forthcoming with documents. Transcripts from his House committee’s investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia in 2016 have been delayed for two years, as the Examiner has noted.
“We understand now that Chairman Schiff is blocking the release of these transcripts,” GOP Rep. Jim Jordan (OH), who previously sat on Schiff’s Intel panel, said in a letter this week, according to the Examiner. “This news, if accurate, is disturbing — especially in light of Chairman Schiff’s cries in 2019 for transparency regarding allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.”
Indeed, Schiff was holding the transcripts in spite of the fact that they were declassified and ready for release, the Examiner noted in a separate report. Schiff clearly didn’t want the information out too early.
But now, it looks like Republicans are holding his feet to the fire — and they aren’t happy that Schiff has made them wait so long.
“Adam Schiff is thwarting the will of the House Intelligence Committee as expressed in the bipartisan vote in September 2018 to make these transcripts public,” a senior intelligence community official told the Examiner.
The unnamed official went on: “He has appointed himself arbiter of what the public should see and has refused to allow the White House to review its own equities, making declassification of 10 of the transcripts impossible. It’s difficult to imagine any motive other than Schiff is still trying to control the narrative on Russia collusion.”
Something to hide?
As the unnamed intel official alluded to, speculation is running wild in Washington and beyond over the motives behind Schiff’s decision to hide the transcripts for so long. Clearly, the transcripts contained something damaging — but what, exactly?
According to the Examiner, the transcripts include testimony from several members of the Trump family and other close White House aides. Former FBI Director James Comey was also interviewed in the investigation.
Politico notes that Trump’s allies are hopeful the documents will expose what they’ve long called a “hoax.”
Indeed, a two-year delay in releasing transcripts from a key investigation that gripped the nation is unacceptable. Americans need the truth as soon as possible. If Schiff truly is getting out of the way, perhaps we’ll soon have the answers we’ve long been waiting for.