Senate intelligence leaders pledge bipartisan Russian Federation probe

Sen. Richard Burr said it's too early in the Intelligence Committee's investigation to draw any conclusions. NBC News reported Wednesday that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and associates Carter Page and Roger Stone have also volunteered to testify.

Congressman Seth Moulton, D-Salem, called on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, Wednesday to recuse himself from the panel's investigation into allegations of Russian interference in US elections. Last week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said "no longer does the Congress have credibility to handle this alone", calling for a select committee or independent commission to take over the investigation. But that veneer of bipartisanship vanished after Nunes first went to the press alone to disclose the Trump-related information last week, without presenting it to the rest of his committee.

"Tomorrow's hearing is with specifically that in mind, that we provide more public awareness, not just in this country but throughout the world, as to what Russia's up to", Burr said. Asked if retired national security adviser Mike Flynn had been requested to attend, Mr Burr said it was "safe to say" he had.

"We're not asking the House to play any role in our investigation", Burr said. The only person he named was President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, but his hearing has not been scheduled yet.

"If we see any attempt to stifle us with information or cut off the intelligence professionals giving us the access we need, you'll hear from us", Warner said.

Burr continued: "As much as we'd like to share minute by minute, even the snapshots we get as a team going through it are not always accurate when we find the next piece of intelligence".

"Our staff is now working though thousands of intelligence and analytic products", Burr said, adding they are waiting for additional documents from the intelligence community related to their investigation.

Burr and Warner refused to take questions about the controversy surrounding House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who is under fire for sharing information about his Committee's investigation into Russian Federation with the White House.

The panel will hold its first public hearing Thursday. Trump has used Nunes' revelations to defend his claim that former President Barack Obama tapped phones at Trump Tower in NY, though Nunes and his committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, say there is no such evidence.

"If we don't come to some joint conclusion".

Both lawmakers emphasized the wide-ranging scope of the investigation, which will also look at Russian capabilities and previous influence campaigns.

Several Democrats said Tuesday that Nunes had also cancelled regular meetings the House Intelligence Committee holds twice a week in order to discuss topics not limited to Russian Federation or surveillance.

Burr and Warner say they have 20 witnesses they plan to interview and have scheduled interviews with five of them so far.

The warning came days after French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen met Putin in a visit to Moscow as she tries to boost her worldwide status by meeting with world leaders. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said in a statement issued in response to Burr and Warner's appearance.

  • Leroy Wright