The Senate Intelligence Committee will begin as soon as Monday privately interviewing 20 people in its ongoing investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election as well as potential ties to the Trump campaign, its leaders said Wednesday. Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said that “if there’s relevance” to those and other interviews that he and Vice Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) anticipate scheduling, “they will eventually be part of a public hearing.” The two leaders stood side by side to update reporters about their investigation in a rare joint news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill, called just as the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation appeared to be grinding to a halt.
Burr and Warner refused to comment on the political discord that has stymied the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation since its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), went to the White House grounds last week without telling his committee colleagues to meet with a secret source. He said he viewed documents that may show that President Trump or members of his transition team were improperly identified in reports regarding surveillance of foreign targets.
Democrats have accused Nunes of coordinating with the White House to distract attention from the investigation into potential ties between the Trump team and Russian officials, and they called for him to recuse himself from the Russia investigation or step down.