Four Republican senators have quietly emerged as an integral sub-group within the intelligence committee driving the investigation into Russia, The New York Times reported.
The informal GOP bloc within the committee:
- Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri.
- Sen. Susan Collins, Maine.
- Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma.
- Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida.
The foursome informally developed into a small group, working with each other and the committee chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, but also with the ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.
"We are working very hard and we talk a lot with one another, as well," Collins told the Times. "This is a complex investigation, and as you pull the threads, you find that it is connected to a whole lot of other threads in this tapestry that we are not yet seeing the whole of."
"This is not about the president, this is about the presidency," said Lankford, who also rebuffed the early speculation and criticism that the committee wasn't fully staffed to handle the intensive probe.
"If you make a big staff, they get less access to the real documents for intelligence that you need," Lankford told the Times. "You need to keep it with high-level folks in as small a pool as possible and give them the time they need."
Rubio was a staunch opponent of President Donald Trump during the primary and has remained a tough critic of the president's since he won the presidency, especially when it comes to the topic of Russia.
"We are nation of laws and we are going to follow those laws," Rubio told the Times.
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