Key Democrat Demands Mueller's Counterintelligence Findings
(Bloomberg) -- The Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat said the panel needs to see all of the counterintelligence information gathered during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Senator Mark Warner told reporters Thursday the committee has compiled “much greater detail” than Mueller’s report described about what the senator called an organized effort by the Russian government and Russian oligarchs to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of President Donald Trump.
Warner noted at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that Mueller’s report mentioned a team of agents who worked on counterintelligence alongside prosecutors, and said the Intelligence panel needs to see what they turned up. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff issued a subpoena Wednesday for the counterintelligence materials in Mueller’s report, as well the underlying evidence.
"I need to get all of the underlying data," said Warner of Virginia.
Warner declined to comment directly on the news that his panel issued a subpoena for testimony from Donald Trump Jr., though he said the committee had "always reserved the right" to call witnesses back for more questioning.
The president told reporters at the White House Thursday that he was “pretty surprised” by the subpoena sent to his son after Mueller’s probe was completed.
Several Senate Republicans criticized the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence panel, Richard Burr of North Carolina, for signing off on that subpoena. Thom Tillis, also of North Carolina and facing a possible primary challenge in 2020, wrote on Twitter that “it’s time to move.”
‘It Was Wrong’
Warner also said the Trump campaign’s actions in 2016 -- welcoming Russian assistance rather than reporting Russian offers of aid to the government -- "may not be illegal, but it was wrong" and that it should be made illegal.
"There ought to be an affirmative obligation to report that to the FBI," the senator said.
Warner said he plans legislation to regulate social media companies and limit their blanket liability protections, and that he backs election-security legislation to protect local systems from attack.
"If we don’t put protections in place, shame on us," he said.
Warner criticized Trump for not taking the Russia threat seriously, or even warning Russian President Vladimir Putin not to meddle in the 2020 election in their most recent phone call. And he complained that Trump, with help from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seems to just want to move on.
The Senate Intelligence’s panel’s final report could be delivered by August, and it needs to remain bipartisan, the senator said.
"If this becomes an only one-party struggle, then I’ve screwed up," Warner said.
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