Rep. Adam Schiff: Republicans ‘Refused’ to Bring in Russian Spy For Fear of Tarnishing NRA
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) appeared on CNN’s New Day to confirm a tweet that he sent Tuesday indicating that the GOP was not interested in questioning Maria Butina, a Russian operative who allegedly established a backchannel to the Republican Party through the NRA.
Maria Butina, a Russian national, has been charged with acting as a surreptitious Russian agent and establishing a secret back channel with the GOP through the NRA.
More likely to come on this; no wonder GOP members of HPSCI refused our request to bring her and others in. https://t.co/UWhoxHz3lr
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 16, 2018
“We heard credible allegations that the Russians may have been funneling money through the NRA, so yes, we wanted to pursue this, but like many other things, when it got too hot, the republican reaction was, we don’t want to know, we’d rather not know,” Schiff explained to New Day’s Alisyn Camerota.
“Indeed, even today, as we continue to bring in witnesses, the majority continues to call the witnesses who are coming before our committee, and telling them: ‘Do not come in, don’t tell the Democrats anything,'” he added.
A baffled Camerota looked to clarify his comments. “Just to be clear, you’re saying that your Republican colleagues on the committee called her and said do not come in? How exactly did they block her sharing information with you?”
“During the course of time when they were actively in the investigation, the majority that is, we said let’s bring in Maria Butina, here are the circumstances, here are the reasons why we should hear from her,” Schiff said. “The Republicans were unwilling. They said no. We don’t want to have them come in, we don’t want to hear what they have to say. They wouldn’t explain why but it was very clear that anything that might tarnish the NRA, anything that might lead to discoverable evidence that might incriminate the White House, they didn’t want to hear.”
With respect to calling other witnesses and telling them to stay away, Schiff added that “what the GOP has done when they’ve learned those witnesses were coming to testify before the committee, is they’ve now affirmatively called those witnesses to say ‘please don’t come talk to the committee, we’d rather they don’t know since we don’t know.'”
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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