News reports claiming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and other Republicans on the committee have been working in secret to build a case against FBI and Justice Department officials, rather than one involving Russian involvement in the election, look "all too accurate," Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said Thursday.
"What we've seen over the course of the investigation is with the chairman and some of the other committee members, there is not a lot of interest in the issues that the committee was established to investigate in terms of Russia's interference in our election," the California lawmaker told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
Instead, said Schiff, Nunes, R-Calif., and other Republicans had been focused on unmasking reports involving the campaign and Russia as a way of discrediting the Obama administration.
When nothing was found, the group pivoted to try to tear down Christopher Steele, the former British agent who'd written a dossier about President Donald Trump, and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, said Schiff.
"These are actions that the White House wants them to take, that Steve Bannon wants them to take, but are destructive of our administration of justice, and, of course, a major distraction from the Russia investigation," said Schiff.
On Wednesday, Politico reported that the group of Republicans has been meeting for weeks, quoting four people familiar with their efforts. The group has reportedly been working parallel to the Intelligence Committee's probe of Russian meddling in the election, and hasn't informed Democrats of their plans, but instead has been in consultation with the House general counsel.
According to new reports from NBC, the Justice Department has been interviewing the FBI about evidence they found in a uranium deal linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, in hopes to examine whether a counsel is needed to look into the Uranium One deal.
Schiff said the Uranium One investigation originated in the White House, with Trump tweeting a plea to congressional Republicans to investigate Hillary Clinton.
"Then you had the White House intervene with the Justice Department in violation of policy and say to get this uranium investigation started, by lifting the gag rule of a particular witness," said Schiff.
There are many in Congress, he added, who are "willing to do the president's bidding."
Schiff said he does have "tremendous confidence" in Mueller and his team, and wonders where are "the patriots in Congress?"
"Who will stand up for the checks and balances, for the brave men and women working hard to protect us?" said Schiff.
"I've worked with the FBI for over 30 years. They're the most professional of all the law enforcement agencies, and that doesn't mean that every agent does everything perfectly, but there's no indication that the bureau exercised a bias in their handling of this."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.