High-level law enforcement and intelligence officials testified in House Intelligence Committee interviews that there was no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, according to a new report.
Senior Trump administration and intelligence community officials told Fox News on Wednesday that transcripts of the interviews, which have been cleared for release, could raise questions about committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s statements that he had “direct evidence” of collusion.
These reports are consistent with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings that there was no evidence of illegal or criminal coordination between President Donald Trump, the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
“Schiff is in panic mode,” a senior administration official told Fox News.
The transcripts of the interviews conducted by the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 and 2018 were approved on a bipartisan basis to be released to the public in September 2018.
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House Republicans, however, accused Schiff of blocking the release of the 53 transcripts earlier this week after they had been redacted and approved for release.
“For nearly four years, prominent Democrat politicians and commentators alleged that President Trump colluded with Russia, with Chairman Schiff going so far as to say that he had ‘direct evidence’ of collusion,” House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan and several other House Republicans wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News.
“Now that these allegations have been disproven by several investigations, the American people deserve to have transparency about why public figures such as Chairman Schiff continue to promote such wild accusations.”
Former assistant U.S. attorney Andy McCarthy also accused the California Democrat of coordinating with the FBI during the investigation.
“Schiff’s main job was to spin for the FBI, spin for the intelligence community, spin for Christopher Steele and try to subvert and suppress what the then-Republican majority were trying to do,” McCarthy told “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday.
In a letter dated May 4, acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell told Schiff that the transcripts were ready to be released “without any concerns of disclosing classified material” after they had been redacted, Fox News reported.
According to Grennell, the review “was completed in June 2019,” long before Grenell became acting director in February, but intelligence officials told Fox News that Schiff has had his subcommittee staff director reach out to the intelligence community to see what role Grenell played in the declassification process.
“Given the overtly political role now played by the acting DNI, including the leak of his letter, this committee and the public can have little confidence that his determinations are made on the merits,” a House Intelligence Committee spokesman said.
The declassification process took place under former directors Dan Coates and Joseph Maguire and the appropriate agencies were consulted during the declassification and redaction of the 53 transcripts, an intelligence community official told Fox News.
The House Intelligence Committee spokesman told Fox News that the panel received Grenell’s letter and is “reviewing the proposed redactions from ODNI based on classification, law enforcement sensitivity or items ODNI requests be for official use only.”
“We look forward to releasing these transcripts, which relate to misconduct by the Trump campaign and the president himself,” the spokesman said
Two sources familiar with the transcripts told Fox News that not one of the 53 witnesses could provide evidence of collusion.
“The transcripts show a total lack of evidence, despite Schiff personally going out saying he had more than circumstantial evidence that there was collusion,” one source involved in House Russia investigations told Fox News.
Story cited here.