Washington (CNN)Members of the House Intelligence Committee agreed Monday evening on the boundaries of their investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the US elections.
The members signed off on a plan to examine contacts between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia and also investigate who leaked key details about Russia’s actions.
Committee members declined to provide in-depth details on the investigation.
“We have a document that we’ve signed and we’ll be giving out obviously, some announcement at some point,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes told CNN when asked if the members had agreed on the terms of their investigation.
Nunes, a California Republican, added that members have already been briefed on the transcripts of calls between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador and are proceeding deliberately on the investigation.
“I’d like for it to go as quick as possible, but at the same time, we’re going to try and get all the information that we can,” Nunes told CNN as he left a meeting of the House committee. “We’ll be looking at anyone and everyone, as I said today, but without any real credible evidence, we’re not going to be bringing Americans into there to be interviewed.”
Nunes also brushed off calls by Democrats and at least one Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa, for an independent investigation into Russia’s influence and hit back against allegations that he coordinated a response to previous reports with the White House.
“They can say whatever they want, but at the end of the day, I hold the gavel, they’re in the minority and we’re going to do what we want to do. We have the votes and we’ve been elected to do that. If that ever changes, then obviously that would be different,” Nunes told CNN. “At this point, I’m not going to give up jurisdiction of this committee that for a long time that has been trusted with the nation’s top secrets. We are not going to give up that jurisdiction to anyone else as long as I’m here.”
Tensions escalated Monday between Nunes and the top Democrat working on the Russia investigation, Rep. Adam Schiff, after Nunes said he had seen no evidence yet of Russian officials communicating with Trump campaign aides and Schiff said it was too early to tell.
Schiff later told CNN’s Erin Burnett that if high-ranking intelligence officials have been communicating with the White House about the investigation, it “threatens the integrity of the organisations and I think they ought to call a halt to that.”
“If we are going to do this in a thorough and objective and nonpartisan way, we need to follow the facts where they lead and not begin with the conclusion the White House would like us to,” Schiff said on “OutFront.”