House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said special counsel Robert Mueller would be making a “mistake” if President Trump isn’t brought in to testify under oath for the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Speaking to Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Schiff, D-Calif., said that he hopes Mueller subpoenas Trump or finds a way to get him in front of a grand jury. Mueller hasn’t done so yet, and reports indicate that his efforts are winding down and a final report may soon be incoming to the Justice Department.
“Yes, I think it is a mistake, and I’ve said it all along that I don’t think Bob Mueller should rely on written answers,” Schiff said. “When you get written answers from a witness it’s really the lawyer’s answers as much as the client’s answer.”
Trump submitted written answers to questions posed by Mueller’s team in November. Some of those answers were leaked to CNN: Trump denied having contact with WikiLeaks and knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between members of his team and a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising dirt on his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton. Trump could face criminal charges if his answers proved false.
Schiff said he thinks during investigations of this nature, the prosecutor should be able to ask follow questions in real time. He said that he thinks Mueller feels some “time pressure” to conclude the investigation but said “the best way to get the truth would be to put the president under oath.”
Under new Democratic leadership this term, the House Intelligence Committee is embarking on a sweeping investigation into President Trump’s financial transactions and Russia.
Schiff has adamantly stressed that his panel will continue its work unimpeded regardless of what Mueller’s report says. He also declared in late February that if Mueller’s full report on the investigation is not released to the public after it is completed, his panel would bring him in to testify in Congress.
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