On a recent episode of NBC’s Meet The Press, a leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said that investigators saw “circumstantial evidence of collusion” and “direct evidence of deception” between Trump administration staff and Russian foreign agents.
Although White House representatives vehemently denied the allegations, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told Chuck Todd that the foundation the investigation is built on was strong, and that investigators were likely to use power of subpoena to make sure the truth comes out about the whole situation surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Schiff’s statements directly contradicted those of James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, who told press two weeks ago that no direct evidence of foul play between the Trump campaign and Russian nationals exists. Schiff told Todd,
‘I was surprised to see Director Clapper say that because I don’t think you can make that claim categorically as he did. I would characterize it this way at the outset of the investigation: There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that’s where we begin the investigation.’
Rep. Schiff continued, saying that while the evidence wasn’t yet strong enough for an indictment, investigators were justified in pursuing the case.
‘There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation. The American people have a right to know and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more.’
Schiff also said that subpoenas in the case were all but a certainty, considering that many potential witnesses may have reservations about testifying against the powerful individuals involved. He implied that letters were being sent out to help ensure that incriminating documents were not destroyed.
‘He’s going to have to be willing to use subpoena power because there will be people we need to bring in before the committee who may not be willing witnesses and if we’re gonna do this credibly… we’re going to need the power of compulsion.’
Although Schiff made it clear that subpoena power had not been granted in the investigation, he also said “we haven’t asked.”
Watch the full video below.
Image via screen capture