The investigation into collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign is unchanged, ongoing, and “just getting started”, despite White House’s “besmirchment” attempts against special counsel Robert Mueller, Representative Adam Schiff said Sunday.
“Newt Gingrich and the President would like us to shut it down before it is really underway”, Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC’s “This Week”.
“We’re far closer to beginning the investigation than we are to the end. But it would be the worst form of negligence to our republic for us to say we’re going to close the investigation before we can determine whether there is merit to these allegations”, Schiff said.
Schiff discredited the attacks of Mueller’s potential conflicts of interest, saying the investigation began before Trump took office and, regardless of claims the proof of collusion might not hold up in the court of law, it needs to at least look into claims the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the dumping of documents occurred with the influence of the Trump campaign.
“The FBI opened an investigation into that issue in July, well before Congress did. I think they did that for good reason in July. I think they maintained that investigation. It’s ongoing for good reason as well. But I’m not prepared to say there is proof you could take to a jury. But I can say there’s enough that we ought to be investigating. Indeed it would be negligent for us not to investigate”, Schiff told host Martha Raddatz.
“The principle reason is, Martha, if a foreign government, in this case Russia, has something they can hang over the head of our president or our administration that can influence U.S. policy, it’s very much in our national security interest to know it”, Schiff noted.