Washington, DC—Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has called on the House to convene a special congressional investigation into the 2016 presidential election after President Donald Trump Jr. released emails from the Democratic National Committee that indicated he and his associates were behind a “puppet” operation to “undermine” Hillary Clinton.
In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Cardin said the committee has the authority to investigate the matter as well as to conduct its own investigation, which would include looking at whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the outcome of the election.
“As you know, the Senate intelligence committee is investigating the 2016 Presidential Election.
The committee has a special investigative authority to conduct a bipartisan and independent investigation,” Cardin wrote.
“It is critical that the committee can conduct its work impartially and with a fair process.”
Ryan said the House will consider Cardin’s request and he has indicated that the panel will be looking at the 2016 election process and the 2016 campaign.
Ryan told The Hill that he has confidence in House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), a member of the House Intelligence panel.
“I have confidence in Chairman Nunes.
I think he’s a man of integrity,” Ryan said.
“We are going to have a full, transparent and bipartisan investigation.”
Ryan did not specifically name any witnesses who might testify during the House investigation, but Cardin asked that House members be allowed to identify “persons of interest.”
The House Intelligence Subcommittee on the Americas has been working on the matter since October, and Cardin wants the House leadership to bring members and staffers there.
Cardin also noted that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has also been investigating the Trump administration for possible ties to the Russian interference in the election, and has subpoenaed the White House.
“The House Oversight Committee will have access to all documents related to this matter, including any emails between the president’s campaign and Russian officials,” Cardi wrote.
Cardi noted that he also asked the House intelligence committee to “hold a briefing” on the probe “at the earliest opportunity” and called for the investigation to be conducted “in an open and transparent manner.”