Barely a day has passed since Richard Burr signaled that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia had turned up nothing substantive – and certainly not a “contract signed in blood” declaring “hey Vlad, we’re going to collude”.
And already, more details are leaking out about the Democrats’ plans to launch a wide ranging investigation that not only will re-litigate the collusion narrative, but will also reportedly focus on allegations of money laundering and other financial improprieties.
Mueller is just the beginning. House Democrats plan a vast probe of President Trump and Russia — with a heavy focus on money laundering — that will include multiple committees and dramatic public hearings, and could last into 2020.
Here’s more from Axios:
The state of play: The aggressive plans were outlined yesterday by a Democratic member of Congress at a roundtable for Washington reporters. The member said Congress plans interviews with new witnesses, and may go back to earlier witnesses who “stonewalled” under the Republican majority.
Why it matters: The reporters, many of them steeped in the special counsel’s investigation, came away realizing that House Dems don’t plan to depend on Robert Mueller for the last word on interference in the 2016 election.
Instead, Dems will use their new subpoena power to produce a voluminous exposé of their own.
The investigation will involve multiple committees, and by all accounts be far more critical than the House probe that ended last year.
At least three committees are already involved: The House Intelligence Committee is taking the lead, coordinating with House Financial Services on money-laundering questions and with House Foreign Affairs on Russia.
Democrats are considering ways to uncover what was said in a Trump private meeting with Putin, “whether that’s subpoenaing the notes or subpoenaing the interpreter or other steps.”
On the issue of Trump family finances, the president said he’s “not in a position to draw red lines.”
“I am concerned that he may have drawn a red line that the Department of Justice may be observing.”
“If we didn’t look at his business…we wouldn’t know what we know now about his efforts to pursue what may have been the most lucrative deal of his life, the Trump Tower in Moscow – something the special counsel’s office has said stood to earn the family hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“Now, most of his stuff isn’t building anymore: It’s licensing, and it doesn’t make that kind of money. So, this would have been huge.”
“[T]he fact that the president says now: ‘Well, it’s not illegal and I might have lost the election. Why should I miss out, basically, on all that money?’ He may very well take the same position now: ‘I might not be re-elected, and so why shouldn’t I…still pursue it?’”
Of course, none of this should come as a surprise: Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff (who are two prime candidates for the source of the latest round of leaks) have made no secret of their plans to subpoena Deutsche Bank to learn more about its lending relationship with the president. And as Dems prepare to let the subpoeanas fly, we imagine we’ll be learning more in the near future.
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