WASHINGTON - The House intelligence committee will launch a broad new investigation looking at Russian interference in the 2016 election and President Donald Trump's foreign financial interests, Chairman Adam Schiff announced Wednesday, moving ahead with the aggressive oversight that Democrats have promised now that they are in the majority.
In response, Trump called Schiff a "political hack" and said he has "no basis to do that".
"No other politician has to go through that...it's called presidential harassment and it's unfortunate and it really does hurt our country".
Democrats newly in control of the House of Representatives have planned numerous investigations of Trump, his business interests and his administration. After Cohen pleaded guilty to the Mueller charges on November 29, Trump called his former lawyer a liar, "a weak person and not a very smart person".
The committee also voted in September to release all of its more than 50 witness transcripts to the public, pending a declassification review, now underway, by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
Stone is accused of lying to Congress about the 2016 campaign's efforts to use stolen emails to undercut Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Cohen is still expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee for a closed-door interview next Wednesday.
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Hours after the meeting was pushed back, a document was filed, and then deleted, under seal in the criminal case against Cohen brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Stone is also charged with obstructing the House probe by encouraging one of his associates, NY radio host Randy Credico, to refuse to testify before the House panel in an effort to hide Stone's false statements.
To protect ongoing investigative interests and information that remains classified, the Committee will release transcripts in a manner and according to a timetable that allows continued pursuit of important leads and testimony, while ensuring that the American people have faith in the process and can assess for themselves the evidence that has been uncovered, while legitimate national security interests continue to be protected.
Schiff has said Mueller should consider whether additional perjury charges are warranted.
Democrats have long questioned whether some witnesses lied to lawmakers during those interviews, and they plan to make obstruction of justice another focus of their planned probe.
Among the transcripts that would be released would be of interviews with Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; his longtime spokeswoman, Hope Hicks; and his former bodyguard Keith Schiller.
Republicans Wednesday made motions to publish unclassified transcripts of interviews with the committee, but Democrats blocked them, saying there actually was some classified material in those transcripts, CNN reported.