Senators investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia held a closed-door meeting on Friday with FBI Director James Comey amid an uproar on Capitol Hill over alleged contacts between Trump aides and Moscow.
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said as he left the meeting he was confident the intelligence panel would have access to the documents it needs to carry out its investigation of the issue.
“We have put in a process to make sure that we are going to get access to the information we need,” the Virginia senator said. “I have a high level of confidence that we’ll get what we need.”
Warner and others members of the Intelligence Committee declined to comment specifically on what was discussed in the meeting with Comey.
But Warner said he continued to support the Intelligence Committee’s investigation, led by Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C), into Russia’s meddling in November’s presidential election — a probe that’s expected to delve into contacts between Russian officials and the Trump team, possibly including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Warner’s remarks come as other Democrats who are not on the intelligence panel are privately voicing concern the secretive, Republican-led committee could end up burying the investigation, according to sources familiar with the matter. Many Democrats and a few Republicans have called for a broader, select committee to handle the investigation.
“What we are trying to do, and I give Richard a lot of credit, is to not have this default to a partisan food fight that doesn’t serve the public interest,” Warner said. “We both understand how serious this is.”
Russia’s election meddling, Warner added, was “an assault on our basic democratic process.”
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The meeting with Comey was the Intelligence Committee’s second meeting of the day. The panel met earlier on Friday behind closed doors to discuss the status of its Russia probe.
“We’re just discussing how we’re going to organize the investigation,” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said as he entered the earlier meeting.
Attendees at both meetings included senior Republicans John Cornyn of Texas and Roy Blunt of Missouri, both members of the intelligence panel, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), an ex-officio panel member.