DNI Grenell Will Release Declassified Russia Probe Transcripts, If Schiff Continues To Block
The Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell will release 53 declassified transcripts of witnesses that testified before Congress regarding the FBI’s Russia probe into President Donald Trump and his campaign, which have been blocked for nearly a year by the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, according to the letter obtained by SaraACarter.com.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, has refused to release the transcripts to the public, despite a unanimous vote by the committee to do so in the fall of 2018. Numerous sources, who have spoken to this reporter, have stated that Schiff’s refusal to release the transcripts is based on his fear that doing so will destroy his public credibility in pushing the Russia hoax propaganda. Grenell’s recent decision to threaten to make the documents public was first reported Wednesday by Byron York with The Washington Examiner.
“I AM ALSO WILLING TO RELEASE THE TRANSCRIPTS DIRECTLY FROM THE ODNI, AS TO ENSURE WE COMPLY WITH UNANIMOUS AND BIPARTISAN VOTE TO RELEASE THE TRANSCRIPTS,” DNI RICK GRENELL
“All of the transcripts, with our required redactions, can be released to the public without any concerns of disclosing classified material,” said Grenell in his letter Wednesday. “In the interests of transparency and accountability, I urge you to honor your previous public statements, and your Committee’s unanimous vote on this matter, to release all 53 cleared transcripts to all Members of Congress and the American public as soon as possible. I am also willing to release the transcripts directly from the ODNI, as to ensure we comply with unanimous and bipartisan vote to release the transcripts.”
Grenell stated in his letter that “the ODNI-supervised interagency review of 43 (of the original 53) transcripts was completed in June 2019. As of today, the interagency review of the remaining ten transcripts has been completed, as well. Additionally, in your letter of 26 March 2019, you also requested the ODNI, “under no circumstances…share HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump, or any persons associated with the White House or President.” Pursuant to your guidance, these transcripts have not been shared with the White House.”
But Grenell’s letter states emphatically that if Schiff does not break his blockade and comply with the committee’s vote taken last year, the DNI will release the documents directly.
There are 6,000 pages of witness transcripts, which was testimony taken during the Congressional investigation behind closed doors. The testimony being kept from the public includes former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, longtime Trump friend Roger Stone, as well as former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. There’s also testimony of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Perkins Coie lawyers Michael Sussman, a former DOJ lawyer who passed along alleged details about Russian interference to former FBI general counsel James Baker. Moreover, there is Don Jr’s testimony, former White House aide Hope Hicks and Marc Elias, the chairman who was the Clinton campaign’s general counsel that hired the embattled research firm Fusion GPS to investigate the debunked theory that Trump conspired with Russia.
On Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, along with nearly two dozen House Republicans, called on Schiff to stop blocking the release of the interview transcripts, as well as any other documents obtained during the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe.
“We understand now that Chairman Schiff is blocking the release of these transcripts,” the lawmakers wrote. “This news, if accurate, is disturbing—especially in light of Chairman Schiff’s cries in 2019 for transparency regarding allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.”
Schiff had sent a letter in mid-April ordering that the witness transcripts not be shared with President Trump, nor the White House lawyers, as reported. He made this clear, even if the declassification process required sharing.
“Under no circumstances shall ODNI, or any other element of the Intelligence Community (IC), share any HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump or any persons associated with the White House or the President,” Schiff wrote in a March 26, 2019 letter to then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
“Such transcripts remain the sole property of HPSCI, and were transmitted to ODNI for the limited purpose of enabling a classification review by IC elements and the Department of Justice,” Schiff added.