A US House panel has announced that it would conduct a broad investigation into President Donald Trump’s finances and Russia.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Wednesday that the probe would “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”, CNN reported.
“That pertains to any credible allegations of leverage by the Russians or the Saudis or anyone else,” Schiff told the media after the House Intelligence Committee’s first meeting in the new Congress.
In a statement, Schiff said the investigation would include a continued probe into Russia’s actions during the 2016 presidential election and contacts between Moscow and Trump’s team, as well as an examination of “whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Trump, his family, his business, or his associates”.
Schiff said the investigation, which could involve additional congressional committees, would also look at whether the President or his associates have “sought to influence US government policy in service of foreign interests” and any potential obstruction into the various investigations.
Trump reacted on Wednesday to Schiff’s announcement by slamming the California Democrat and saying he has “no basis to do that”.
“He’s just a political hack trying to build a name for himself,” Trump said in the Roosevelt Room on Wednesday after announcing his new nominee to be World Bank President.
“It’s called presidential harassment and it is unfortunate.”
Trump’s comments followed his State of the Union speech on Tuesday in which he warned Democrats against undertaking “ridiculous partisan investigations”.
Schiff responded to Trump’s attack on Twitter, saying: “We’re going to do our job and won’t be distracted or intimidated by threats or attacks.”
The House Intelligence Committee met for the first time in the new Congress on Wednesday and took its first action by voting to send more than 50 transcripts from its Russia investigation interviews to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.