The Latest: Senate intel panel working on Russia probe

AP News
|
Posted: Mar 29, 2017 3:25 PM
The Latest: Senate intel panel working on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional maneuvering around investigations into Russian meddling into United States politics (all times local):

3:23 p.m.

The Senate intelligence committee chairman says his panel's "challenge" is to answer for Americans whether President Donald Trump was directly involved in Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., called the investigation the biggest he's seen since he was elected to Congress. He says that despite his support for Trump in the election, he can lead an impartial investigation.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the committee, said he had confidence in Burr.

The lawmakers say the committee is nearing completion of a review of thousands of documents related to the investigation. The Senate panel is holding its first public hearing on Thursday.

___

2:50 p.m.

The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee says the panel "will get to the bottom" of Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat and vice chairman, and Sen. Richard Burr, the committee's Republican chairman, addressed reporters ahead of their panel's first hearing on Russia.

The stakes for the Senate investigation have been heightened given the disarray in the House investigation into Russia. Democrats have called on Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chair of the House committee, to recuse himself over his close relationship with the Trump White House.

Burr says the Senate committee has contacted 20 individuals about sitting for interviews. Among them is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, who has acknowledged meetings with Russians during the transition.

__

10:45 a.m.

A Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee wants a thorough review of the financial relationships between Russia and President Donald Trump and his associates.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon made his request in a letter Wednesday to the committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, and the ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.

Wyden says it's important for the committee to separate fact from speculation amid reports that several individuals received funds from Russia.

In an interview last August, former national security adviser Michael Flynn acknowledged being paid by Russia's government-backed television network.

Wyden also says that the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., stated in 2008 that Russians make up a "pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets."

Burr and Warner planned a news conference later Wednesday.

__

3:34 a.m.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee is refusing to step away from its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Committee chairman Devin Nunes responded "Why would I?" when asked Tuesday if he should recuse himself.

The embattled House committee is conducting one of three probes into the election campaign, its aftermath and potential contacts between Trump officials and Russians.

Democrats contend Nunes' loyalty to Trump is greater than his commitment to leading an independent investigation.

The California Republican met with a secret source last week on White House grounds to review classified material. He says the material showed Trump associates' communications had been captured in "incidental" surveillance of foreigners

Trump has used Nunes' revelations to defend his unproven claim that Barack Obama tapped phones at Trump Tower.