During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump took a moment to jab Democrats for their Russia probe.
"An economic miracle is taking place in the United States -- and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations," Trump said, as Pelosi made an uncomfortable face behind him. "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way!"
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff took the jab as a threat, as evidenced by his tweet on Wednesday:
I can understand why the idea of meaningful oversight terrifies the President. Several of his close associates are going to jail, others await trial, and criminal investigations continue.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 6, 2019
We’re going to do our job and won’t be distracted or intimidated by threats or attacks.
The Committee decided on Wednesday to launch another Russia probe. The reason? The last Congress didn't complete their "inquiries," whatever the hell that means.
Here's what the Committee wants answers to, according to a press release (emphasis mine):
During the prior Congress, the Committee began to pursue credible reports of money laundering and financial compromise related to the business interests of President Trump, his family, and his associates. The President’s actions and posture towards Russia during the campaign, transition, and administration have only heightened fears of foreign financial or other leverage over President Trump and underscore the need to determine whether he or those in his Administration have acted in service of foreign interests since taking office.
Unfortunately, these and numerous other avenues of inquiry were not completed during the last Congress. Now, in the 116th Congress, the Committee’s investigation will focus principally on five interconnected lines of inquiry, beginning with these incomplete or unexamined investigative threads:
(1) The scope and scale of the Russian government’s operations to influence the U.S. political process, and the U.S. government’s response, during and since the 2016 election;
(2) The extent of any links and/or coordination between the Russian government, or related foreign actors, and individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign, transition, administration, or business interests, in furtherance of the Russian government’s interests;
(3) Whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates;
(4) Whether President Trump, his family, or his associates are or were at any time at heightened risk of, or vulnerable to, foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion, or have sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests; and
(5) Whether any actors – foreign or domestic – sought or are seeking to impede, obstruct, and/or mislead authorized investigations into these matters, including those in the Congress.
The Committee may pursue additional lines of inquiry regarding matters that arise from the investigation, and it intends to cooperate with other congressional committees, as needed, on matters of overlapping interest. The Committee also plans to develop legislation and policy reforms to ensure the U.S. government is better positioned to counter future efforts to undermine our political process and national security.
In addition to moving forward with continuing the Russia probe, the Committee voted to release transcripts for private Committee testimony that took place during the last Congress. They plan to release the transcripts to the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel's Office.
The Committee also voted to release all investigative transcripts to the public in order to provide us "with greater transparency and insight into Russia’s operations and the U.S. government’s response."
The least surprising aspect: we're going to see a trickle of information.
To protect ongoing investigative interests and information that remains classified, the Committee will release transcripts in a manner and according to a timetable that allows continued pursuit of important leads and testimony, while ensuring that the American people have faith in the process and can assess for themselves the evidence that has been uncovered, while legitimate national security interests continue to be protected.
Just when we thought things were wrapping up, the Democrats are going to do everything in their power to keep this story going. And you know their motivation is to take the White House in 2020.