Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have gotten extremely petty in their attempts to stonewall Democrats who are trying to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. After all, those Republicans, led by committee chairman Representative Devin Nunes, ended the House Intel Russia probe in April and cleared the White House of any wrongdoing. But Democrats pledged to continue interviewing witnesses, and now the GOP is making that increasingly difficult.
Democrats tell CNN that they aren’t allowed into conference rooms to conduct interviews, they’ve been denied funds to pay for witness travel to Washington, D.C., and Nunes is even preventing them from using the House’s transcription services, which costs the committee nothing. As a result, they’ve been left to conduct interviews in the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as they did Wednesday with George Papadopoulos’s wife Simona, who had to pay her own way to D.C.
Along with these small annoyances, Republicans on the committee are making one big thing difficult: Nunes is blocking Democrats from sharing what they’ve learned in witness interviews with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, tells CNN that some of the witnesses interviewed by House may have lied and he wants to tell Mueller all about it, but he can’t do so without Nunes’s help.
Republicans, for their part, say Democrats are partaking in a useless witch hunt with the dual goals of damaging the White House and winning themselves publicity. “There’s a difference between a real investigation and a fake investigation fueled by a desire for people to get on television,” Ohio Representative Mike Turner, a member of the committee, told CNN.