Transcripts of House Intelligence Committee interviews that have been cleared for release show top law enforcement and intelligence officials confirming they had no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, Fox New reports.
While the release of these interviews will be good for President Trump, they could raise further questions about committee Chairman Adam Schiff and his past statements claiming that there was “direct evidence” of collusion.
Earlier in the week, House Republicans requested the release of over 6,000 pages of transcripts pertaining to interviews conducted by the committee in 2017 and 2018, after the panel in September 2018 voted on a bipartisan basis to approve their public release.
A day later, acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell notified Schiff that the redaction and declassification process was complete, and that the records were ready for release.
Schiff’s response shows just how nervous he his. According to intelligence officials, he ordered his subcommittee staff director to reach out to heads of intelligence agencies searching for some sort of leverage on Grenell.
Schiff’s team was attempting to determine what role Grenell may have played in the declassification and redaction process in order to use it against him.
According to Fox News, however, the redactions were completed before Grenell took the helm as acting director this past February.
One senior administration official said that “Schiff is in panic mode.”
The declassification and redaction process took place under both former directors Dan Coates and Joseph Maguire, and was conducted by career intelligence officials.
Grenell, in a letter to Schiff dated May 4, wrote that the review of 43 of the 53 transcripts “was completed in June 2019,” and that the “interagency review of the remaining ten transcripts has been completed.” Grenell added, “pursuant to your guidance, these transcripts have not been shared with the White House.”
Turning the pressure up on Schiff, Grenell wrote that he was “willing” to release the transcripts directly from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence [ODNI] “as to ensure we comply with the unanimous and bipartisan vote to release the transcripts.”
A House Intelligence Committee spokesman said the panel received Grenell’s letter on Tuesday.
“We are now reviewing the proposed redactions from ODNI based on classification, law enforcement sensitivity or items ODNI requests be for official use only,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman also said that the committee’s review of ODNI’s “newly proposed redactions” would be “as expeditious as possible given the constraints of the pandemic.” He continued, “We look forward to releasing these transcripts, which relate to misconduct by the Trump campaign and the president himself.”
The committee might not be as excited as they claim to release the transcripts, however as one source involved in the investigations said, “The transcripts show a total lack of evidence, despite Schiff personally going out saying he had more than circumstantial evidence that there was collusion.”
Another source familiar with the transcripts told Fox News that the people interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe were asked whether they had evidence that Trump, himself, or the Trump campaign conspired, colluded, or coordinated with Russia during the 2016 election.
Two sources familiar with the transcripts told Fox News that not a single one of the 53 witnesses could provide evidence of collusion.
The Russia probe never produced any charges linking the Trump campaign and Russia as part of a criminal conspiracy. It was all a hoax just as Trump proclaimed – and now the Democrats will be exposed.