President Donald Trump escalated his State of the Union threat to Democrats Wednesday when blasted House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, and suggested the California Democrat lacks any “basis” to launch a sweeping investigation of the president’s campaign and personal finances.
“Under what basis would he do that? He has no basis to do that,” Trump told reporters after an event to announce his World Bank presidential nominee.
Trump, who has in the past hit Schiff with one of his signature derisive nicknames, was eager to discredit what has become one of his biggest political threats. Democrats won control of the House, and now have the power — complete with subpoena powers— to investigate Trump’s campaign, businesses and presidency.
“He’s just a political hack. He’s trying to build a name for himself,” Trump said of Schiff. “And I think that’s fine because that what they do.”
“But there would be no reason to do that. No other politician has to go through that. It’s called presidential harassment,” the president said giving an in-person version of how he describes the investigations on Twitter. “And it’s unfortunate. And it really does hurt our country.”
House Intelligence voted Wednesday to release all transcripts from its 2017 and 2018 Russia investigation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — And eventually, the documents will be released to the public.
The committee voted on the step to release the transcripts Wednesday at its organizational meeting, where it announced it will relaunch the probe and focus on five key areas of interest.
To “protect ongoing investigative interests and information that remains classified,” the committee will release the transcripts on a rolling timeline, Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said in a statement Wednesday. So that, “the American people have faith in the process and can assess for themselves the evidence that has been uncovered.”
During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Trump warned House Democrats he would turn off the spigot on legislative cooperation if they insisted on launching the very kinds of probes Schiff announced just hours later.
“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” Trump said to audible groans from Democratic members. “It just doesn't work that way.”