Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee suggested they may shut down the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia before they have gotten all the facts, The Hill reports.
“I think this investigation has gone excruciating slow,” Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, who sits on the Intel Committee, told The Hill. “We’ve been doing this for more than a year. We started looking at it on the committee in September .”
Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway, who is leading the investigation after Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes was forced to recuse himself, told the site he intends to end the investigation “as soon as I can.”
“I have no interest in prolonging this one second longer than it needs to,” he said.
Florida Republican Rep. Tom Rooney said “At some point you are going to reach a saturation point where the information, the facts and the evidence are all saying the same thing. There’s nothing new and just keeping it open for the sake of keeping it open is spinning your wheels.”
“We owe the American people a report and the intelligence community a report, and I would like that to be sooner rather than later,” he added.
Rooney said he wants the investigation to be finished by the end of the year, which Democratic ranking member California Rep. Adam Schiff said is “unrealistic.”
Democrats noted that the committee still has many witnesses to interview.
Conaway himself admitted Wednesday that he didn’t “even have a ballpark” guess on how many.
“I know Steve Bannon has been out there calling for an end to the investigations and I think those calls are having an effect,” Schiff told The Hill.
Fellow California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell said that Republicans’ refusal to use their subpoena powers to compel witnesses to submit documents is a key reason the investigation has dragged on.
“I would love to wrap it up as soon as we can and in a comprehensive way — meaning that witnesses are actually asked to turn over relevant documents. Part of the problem right now has been that witnesses are coming in without turning over what we’ve asked,” he said.
Rooney, though, insists that they’ve already done enough and suggested the Republicans on the panel may submit a final report even if Democrats oppose the move.
“With what we have right now and the interviews that we’ve done, I feel pretty confident in issuing a report — I don’t know if it’s going to be bipartisan or not, but we all know the same thing down there,” Rooney said.
Aside from the investigation led by special counsel Bob Mueller, the House Intel Committee is leading one of several probes into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, though theirs has been one of the messier versions.
The committee has dealt with much infighting, with Democrats like Schiff accusing Republicans like Nunes of trying to do Trump’s bidding and tip the scale in his favor.
Nunes had to recuse himself earlier this year after he was accused of distorting intelligence data to protect the White House.