Republican lawmakers continue to slow-walk investigations into Russian election actions and, in specific, the Donald Trump presidential campaign's knowledge of and potential collaboration with those efforts. Democratic lawmakers continue to express their frustration. In a new letter to Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr, Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asks (again) that the committee probe the financial records of top Trumpians as part of that investigation:
In a letter provided to CNN Wednesday, Wyden told Burr and the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, they should hold public hearings with those involved in Trump's finances, including with Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and his son Donald Trump Jr. Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who also serves as ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, also called for a hearing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as the Oregon Democrat has unsuccessfully sought a range of records from the Treasury Department's financial crimes unit.
"I do not believe ... that the committee had adequately investigated these matters or that the Trump administration, and in particular, the secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, has cooperated with congressional oversight," Wyden wrote.
Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner were in the Trump Tower meeting with Russians seeking to turn over information on opponent Hillary Clinton in exchange for, from what we can piece together so far, an easing of sanctions on wealthy Putin-connected oligarchs. The Trump empire is known to have had myriad connections to shady Russian figures and money laundering attempts. The extent to which one of those things may have influenced the other—or the extent to which the Trump family is personally indebted to individuals who may have already sought very specific things in exchange for Russian hacking and disinformation campaigns—seems unavoidably relevant.
But for the moment, Burr and his fellow Republicans continue to slow-walk those investigations. It's not like the House, where crazy person Devin Nunes is getting the explicit assistance of the House speaker in sabotaging the investigation and demonizing the investigators. But they are making no effort to rush their investigation, even as intelligence officials warn of almost certain Russian interference in the upcoming midterm elections.