Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the truth about Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign would eventually come out, if not in open congressional testimony, then in reports to be issued down the road.
Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate intelligence committee testimony Thursday, Schiff told Yahoo News that he didn’t understand why testimony by National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers about unclassified matters had to be given in closed sessions. Still, the public would eventually get the information, he said.
“I don’t think they had a sound basis for refusing to testify in open session,” said Schiff, who is the ranking member of the House intelligence committee. “I do want to get the information one way or another, and ultimately the information will be made public. We’re going to do a report at the end of our investigation, and we’re going to lay out just what we find. We’re not going to allow this administration or any other to say we can’t tell the public what happened if the information is not classified, and there’s nothing classified, of course, about what we’re talking about.”
Speaking with Yahoo News’ Mike Isikoff and Bianna Golodryga following Sessions’ testimony, Schiff said he would ask the administration if it wished to invoke executive privilege on its discussions with the attorney general.
Schiff added that despite Sessions’ testimony that it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for him to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Schiff wouldn’t rule anything out from the executive branch.
“I think not only did the attorney general make it more difficult for the president to fire Bob Mueller,” said Schiff. “Just in listening to my Republican colleagues in both public and private, I think they are quite universal that it would be a disaster for the administration to take the steps of firing Bob Mueller. We would hear so many echoes of Watergate.”
If Mueller is fired, he would be reappointed by Congress to continue the investigation, Schiff promised.
“I do think we would have the votes necessary to reestablish an independent counsel and we would make sure Bob Mueller got appointed as the new independent counsel,” said Schiff. “I’d have to imagine the White House would be deterred, and once again this is the product of the president venting his frustration about things, but then I never thought he would go through with firing James Comey, so who can say with this president?”