Fifty-seven interview transcripts from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into allegations of collusion between President Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 election were released to the public on Thursday, after a year-and-a-half long redaction process in which the White House demanded to review and redact the testimony before its public release.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) made the transcripts — including interviews with former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, Presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Trump 2016 campaign chairman Steve Bannon — available on the House website.
The move came after acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell told lawmakers in a letter that the White House was dropping its demand to redact the documents.
Instead, career intelligence staff redacted the transcripts for potentially sensitive information.
“These transcripts should have been released long before now, but the White House held up their release to the public by refusing to allow the Intelligence Community to make redactions on the basis of classified information, rather than White House political interests,” Rep. Schiff said in a statement. “Only now, and during a deadly pandemic, has the President released his hold on this damning information and evidence.”
The release comes hours after the Justice Department moved to drop charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, saying it could not prove the allegations to which Flynn pleaded guilty in court.
The transcripts offer a fuller account of the committee’s investigation, led by the then-Republican majority and its then-chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Nunes sent the transcripts for classification review in September 2018.
The release includes correspondence between the panel and attorneys for the witnesses. It also includes a letter that Rep. Schiff sent to Attorney General Bill Barr in April 2019 referring Erik Prince for prosecution for allegedly lying to the committee.
“Like the Ukraine investigation that would follow it, the investigation into the Trump campaign’s effort to seek and utilize Russian help in 2016 and to obstruct justice, reveal a President who believes that he is above the law,” Schiff said in the statement. “But we are a country where the truth still matters and where right still matters. Our investigation into the Trump campaign, and the evidence we uncovered despite formidable obstruction, affirms that.”
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