A senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee which is now probing President Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow said she would request President Trump to release his tax returns during the probe. U.S. GOP Sen. Susan Collins, made the statements on a local radio show on Wednesday.
She added many of her colleagues on the intelligence panel think that summoning Gen. Flynn to testify would be a good idea.
Gen. Flynn lost his job as Trump’s national security adviser after several reports showed he had met multiple times with the Russian envoy to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, during the transition to discuss Obama-era sanctions on Russia.
Sen. Collins didn’t say whether the embattled general would testify behind closed doors or openly. However, the panel prefers this business to remain private. The senator said that there would be some public hearings during the ongoing investigation. She added that the committee would issue a public report after they complete the investigation.
According to Collins, President Trump could be subpoenaed in the process on his undisclosed tax returns. Under federal law, a person cannot be forced to release his or her tax returns as the info is considered to be private. But the Democratic party thinks the tax returns could unveil his business ties to Russia.
If it’s necessary to get to the answers then I suspect we would,
the GOP senator said Wednesday.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is moving fast on the issue as the FBI Director James B. Comey briefed the panel for two hours Friday on the agency’s findings. Collins said the information Comey provided was “helpful.”
On Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio praised the panel’s work as it could inspire confidence Republicans are also interested in getting to the bottom of the alleged Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. Collins confirmed Republicans too want answers. She explained the committee’s probe represents a counterintelligence cooperation, which is the panel’s specialization.
According to multiple reports, high-level campaign advisers of Trump had multiple contacts with Russian officials on the campaign trail. CIA said both Obama and then-president-elect Trump were briefed on the extensive communications between Moscow and Trump campaign aides.
U.S. intelligence agencies have data on at least two senior Trump advisers that were constantly in touch with Russian operatives. Law enforcement officials underlined that communications between a presidential nominee’s campaign and foreign governments are nothing new, but in Trump’s case, the communications were unusually frequent and involved mostly high-ranking staffers.
The US investigators who intercepted those communications are concerned Russia might have special access to the freshly-minted U.S. president. Trump, however, dismissed the allegations as “non-sense” and an attempt to steer away the public’s attention from Hillary Clinton’s wrongdoings.
Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was also accused of being involved with the Russians, denied allegations.
That is 100% not true, at least as far as me,
Manafort said in a CNN interview.
He added that he didn’t recall speaking to a Russian operative “ever” and called the rumors “boggling.”
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