The release of the transcripts has turned into a political struggle between the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee and the Office of the Trump Administration of the Director of National Intelligence on the declassification of the transcripts and whether the White House could examine them.
But a committee spokesman told CNN on Wednesday that the panel was preparing to publish the transcripts of the 53 closed-door testimony interviews conducted in 2017 and 2018.
The commission voted unanimously in 2018 to publish the transcripts of the interviews conducted as part of the Russian investigation conducted by the Republican group, which was marred by partisan fighting over how the investigation was conducted, and subsequently he classified memos on FBI surveillance warrants for Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
The committee also spoke to senior Obama administration officials such as former FBI director James Comey, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates.
But the transcripts have yet to be released. Republicans claimed that Schiff was delaying their publication and Grenell wrote that 43 of the transcripts had been completed in June 2019, according to the examiner. But the committee spokesman accused ODNI of having suspended the revision of the declassification for some of the remaining transcripts at the request of the White House.
In September 2019, the committee voted to publish the 43 transcripts that had been completed. At that closed-door meeting, Schiff told the committee that in March 2019 ODNI said he wanted to share some transcripts with the White House because they “involve White House actions”. The committee told ODNI not to share with the White House and the agency did not.
Representative Devin Nunes of California, the group’s Republican top, found a rare deal with Schiff, saying that the transcripts were delayed due to “ODNI dragging his feet”.
But the release never took place after the vote, as the jury’s attention quickly turned to Ukraine and the impeachment investigation.
It now appears that all 53 transcripts will be released in a batch.
“The Committee received a letter from ODNI yesterday stating that” the review by the other ten transcripts has been completed to date “and that it has provided new editions. After more than a year of unnecessary delays, the ODNI has his protracted revision of the classification of the transcripts of the Committee has finally ended, and it also appears that the White House has now abandoned its improper insistence on the revision of the key transcripts, which the Committee has adequately rejected, “said the committee spokesman.
The committee said it will now review the newsrooms before the transcripts are released, sliding the finger over Grenell for an “openly political role” in the process.
“We are now reviewing the reductions proposed by ODNI based on the classification, sensitivity of law enforcement or elements that ODNI requests should be for official use only,” said the spokesman. “Given the openly political role now played by the reciting DNI, including the loss of his letter, this committee and public opinion may have little confidence that his decisions are made on the merits. This process had already lasted too long, mainly because ODNI has improperly held the review of the declassification and the release of several transcripts at the request of the White House. ”
The republican report of the Russian panel investigation in 2018 concluded that Russia had interfered but found no evidence of collusion between Trump team members and Russian officials. Democrats, however, argued that the committee failed to take steps such as summonsing witnesses or refusing to answer panel questions.
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