House Intelligence Committee sets framework for Russian probe

Lawmakers will investigate alleged links between Moscow and the campaign.

ByABC News
March 1, 2017, 10:29 PM

— -- The House Intelligence Committee today formally outlined a framework for its probe into Russian tampering in the 2016 election.

The investigation will examine alleged communication between Moscow and the campaigns, as well as possible leaks by the intelligence community, according to an unclassified summary released by the committee.

In January, then-President-elect Trump conceded that the Russians were likely behind the hacking that attempted to undermine his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton -- a conclusion the intelligence community reached last October.

However, the president has repeatedly pushed back on reports that Trump associates had communicated or coordinated with Russian intelligence officials before the election, calling the news "fabricated."

According to the summary, the House committee is nevertheless investigating "links between Russian and individuals associated with political campaigns."

"We still have not seen any evidence of anyone ... from the Trump campaign or any other campaign for that matter that's communicated with the Russian government," Intelligence committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, told reporters at the Capitol on Monday.

“That doesn't mean they don't exist but I don't have that. And what I've been told is, by many -- by many folks, is that there's nothing there," he added.

“We haven't reached a conclusion, nor should we, on issues of collusion because we haven't interviewed a single witness or reviewed a single document,”ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, told reporters that same day.

Trump, however, said the leaks coming from inside the government are "absolutely real" and instructed the Justice Department to investigate the potential mishandling of classified information.

"Well, the leaks are real. You are the one that wrote about them and reported them. The leaks are real. You know what they said. You saw it. And the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake," Trump Told ABC's Jonathan Karl at a press conference last month. "Look, how many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a ruse."

The House committee -- which says it will take witness testimony and seek access to all relevant intelligence documents -- is investigating these possible leaks as well.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is also conducting its own investigation, and has asked more than one dozen agencies, individuals and organizations to preserve records and communications of interest.

Related Topics