franckreporter/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday is expected to clear the way for special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to use Russia investigation interview transcripts in possible perjury prosecutions.
The committee is expected to vote Wednesday morning to send transcripts from some of the more than 50 interviews the committee conducted in its investigation of alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. It’s one of newly installed chairman Adam Schiff’s top priorities, along with the eventual public release of those transcripts currently undergoing declassification review.
The committee voted on Dec. 20 to formally transmit a transcript of longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone’s testimony to the special counsel after receiving an official request for the transcript.
Stone was charged last month with lying to the committee about his interactions with WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“You have to be straight with Congress,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of the committee, told ABC News of the Stone indictment. “He wasn’t. And he’s paying the price now. And I suspect he won’t be the last.”
While Mueller’s investigators have access to the “substance” of the transcripts, they aren’t able to use them for perjury prosecutions until they are formally transmitted by the committee, said Schiff, D-Calif.
“Whether they could actually use the material in it as part of their report is also, I think, in question,” Schiff said.
Last April, committee Republicans released a report that found “no collusion” between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin, but faulted both the Trump and Clinton campaigns and campaign officials for “poor judgment and ill-considered actions.”
Democrats, who panned the GOP-led investigation in their own rebuttal, will continue investigating additional lines of inquiry stemming from their Russia probe, after winning control of the House in the midterm elections.
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