In his daily memo at The Washington Examiner, Byron York reported that the transcripts of the 53 secret interviews the House Intelligence Committee conducted during its Trump-Russia investigation are ready to be released. Having Rick Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence has already had an impact–he has made it clear that the transcripts need to be released and that he will release them if Adam Schiff does not.
The article reports:
…Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has sent a letter to chairman Adam Schiff notifying him that transcripts of all 53 interviews, over 6,000 pages in all, have been cleared for public release. “All of the transcripts, with our required redactions, can be released to the public without any concerns of disclosing classified material,” Grenell wrote to Schiff in a letter dated May 4.
The Intel Committee did the first probe into Russia’s 2016 campaign interference and allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. Even today, its findings make up most of what we know about the affair. As part of that investigation — it was run by then-majority Republicans — the committee interviewed some key witnesses in the Trump-Russia matter: Donald Trump Jr., Steve Bannon, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Michael Cohen, Hope Hicks, and many more.
The article lists the names of the 53 people interviewed.
The article continues:
The interviews were conducted in secret. But by September 2018, with the committee’s report long finished and made public, the Republicans who still controlled the committee decided the interview transcripts should be released to the public. In a rare moment of comity, Democrats agreed, and on September 26, 2018, the committee voted unanimously to release the transcripts. But there was a catch: The documents would have to first be checked for classified information by the Intelligence Community. So off they went to the IC — never to be seen again.
Now, in May 2020, they’re still secret. Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal editorial board reported that the IC had finished its review of 43 of the transcripts, but Schiff was refusing to release them. The paper said Schiff was also preventing declassification of the remaining ten transcripts.
In the letter, Grenell revealed that the 43 transcripts have been finished since June 2019. Schiff has been sitting on them all that time. Grenell said the final ten have just been finished as well. “I urge you to honor your previous public statements, and your committee’s unanimous vote on this matter, to release all 53 cleared transcripts to Members of Congress and the American public as soon as possible,” Grenell said. Just in case Schiff is still not interested, Grenell added, “I am also willing to release the transcripts directly from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as to ensure we comply with the unanimous and bipartisan vote to release the transcripts.”
I think we are about to learn a whole bunch of things that are going to make some of our Congressmen look very bad.