“The Republican and Democratic leaders on the Senate Intelligence Committee rejected a broad request from two Republican Senate leaders seeking access to the panel’s records to assist in their investigation into the Trump-Russia investigators.
Acting Chairman Marco Rubio of Florida and Vice Chairman Mark Warner of Virginia rejected a late August letter from Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who said that they “respect the authority” of the Senate Intelligence Committee to protect its interests, adding that “ultimately, we have the right as United States Senators” to access the records.
“We note that your request of the Committee is made pursuant to Senate Rule 26, but fails to account for the unique authorities and obligations invested in this Committee through Senate Resolution 400 and respected over decades of Senate and Committee practice,” Rubio and Warner responded. “Accordingly, we must reject the absolutist interpretation of Rule 26 that you propose. If this Committee elects to share materials that it has collected and generated in the course of its investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, it will do so pursuant to these long-standing Committee rules, and specifically, the joint agreement of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman.”
Rubio and Warner added: “Independent of whether that agreement is forthcoming, our position on this matter obviously does not preclude you from pursuing your own investigation, using your own authorities, as you see fit, within the confines of your committees’ jurisdictions.”
Rubio, Warner, Johnson, and Grassley did not provide the Washington Examiner with comment.
“As part of our investigation into the presidential transition in 2016 and early 2017, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee authorized the issuance of subpoenas, if necessary, to several individuals regarding the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the ‘unmasking’ of U.S. persons or entities during the transition period. While seeking the voluntary cooperation of several prospective witnesses, several have requested — and provided permission for — us to review transcripts of their testimony before your committee because of the overlapping subject matter,” Johnson and Grassley wrote in August. “The review of these discrete number of transcripts would assist in our investigation by narrowing the areas to be addressed with each witness.” (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 9/14/2020) (Archive)