Tags: GOP | Democrats | Probe | Russia | Election

GOP, Dems Test If Fair Probe Possible Into Russia's Influence on Election

Image: GOP, Dems Test If Fair Probe Possible Into Russia's Influence on Election
Devin Nunes (AP)

By    |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 09:27 AM

Public confidence in the ability of Congress to fairly probe issues of national concern in a bipartisan manner are at stake in the House investigation of Russia's meddling in the U.S. presidential election, Politico reported on Monday.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was on President Donald Trump's transition team and the panel's top Democrat, Adam Schiff, is a fierce critic of the president, and their efforts to conduct an unbiased probe into one of the most politically sensitive investigations in Congress in decades has already been severely tested.

The trust needed by members of the two parties on the committee has already been shaken when the White House recently sought help from Nunes to downplay reports about the Trump campaign's contact with Russia, one of the issues the committee is investigating, ABC News reported.

After Nunes told the press that he has not seen any evidence of improper contact between Trump officials and the Russians, he denied that he had done anything improper.

But Politico said that Schiff accused Nunes of prejudging the outcome of the probe, insisting that "when you begin an investigation, you don't begin by stating what you believe to be the conclusion."

Although there has been some success in coming to bipartisan agreements on how the committee should conduct the investigation, Democrats are very wary about the process being fair and have said they will pull out the moment they do not see a serious attempt by the Republicans on the panel to get to the truth.

Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier told The New York Times"I'm not going to be part of a dog-and-pony show that is not a serious effort to do an investigation… If it's not a legitimate and comprehensive and in-depth investigation, why would we be party to it?"

Democrats preferred an outside, independent investigation into the Russian interference in the elections, but failed to achieve that due to Republican objections. Some Democrats acknowledge, however, that despite some steps by Nunes they did not like, he has so far been generally receptive to their requests.

It remains to be seen if the probe turns into a partisan spat that lacks widespread legitimacy or becomes one that is viewed as fair and having risen above the partisan bickering, such as Watergate, the Iran-Contra scandal and the investigation into Wall Street's role in the financial crisis.

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Politics
Public confidence in the ability of Congress to fairly probe issues of national concern in a bipartisan manner are at stake in the House investigation of Russia s meddling in the U.S. presidential election, Politico reported on Monday
GOP, Democrats, Probe, Russia, Election
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2017-27-13
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 09:27 AM
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