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Democrats launch new investigation into Trump's finances and Russian Federation links

07 February 2019

The committee will also investigate whether any of the president's policy decisions were the result of foreign exploitation and whether any foreign actors are attempting to impede congressional or other investigations into those topics.

New information about "covert and overt" Russian actions that targeted members of the president's campaign and his private businesses has emerged in the two years since the election, and merits scrutiny, Schiff said in a statement.

Trump called Schiff a "political hack who is just trying to build a name for himself" after the committee announced that it would be looking into his finances.

The House Intelligence Committee is set to pursue a wide investigation into attempts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election, including a look at Donald Trump's financial transactions, the panel's Democratic chairman Adam Schiff said on Wednesday.

Schiff told reporters this will "allow us to investigate any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the president or anyone in the administration".

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Trump said such inquiries were "partisan" and "ridiculous". Democrats strongly objected at the time, saying the move was premature.

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Trump's former fixer and personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and a longtime adviser, Roger Stone, have been charged with lying to the panel. Hours after the meeting was pushed back, a document was filed, and then deleted, under seal in the criminal case against Cohen brought by the special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Special counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined comment, as did Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen.

Stone pleaded not guilty to charges last month that he lied to the House panel about his discussions during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released thousands of emails stolen from Democrats. Mueller "will now have access to those transcripts for any objective that will facilitate justice", Schiff said.

Mueller requested Stone's interview transcript previous year and the panel voted to release it in December.

In a statement released prior to the committee's meeting Wednesday, Republicans, led by Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-California, called for the transcripts' immediate release, citing an "unacceptable delay" in their review.

Schiff also said the panel's first act had been to authorize the transmission of all of the transcripts of witness testimony as part of the House Russia investigation to the special counsel. The witnesses include the president's son Donald Trump Jr., as well as his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Republicans also sought to to subpoena a dozen officials, including Utah Rep. Chris Stewart and former FBI Director James Comey, but Schiff blocked that, too, arguing it was premature to subpoena witnesses who hadn't refused to testify voluntarily. Republicans said they were witnesses who Democrats had previously wanted to come before the panel.

Steele's research was funded by Democrats and later compiled into an anti-Trump dossier that became public.

Democrats launch new investigation into Trump's finances and Russian Federation links