House intel Democrat on Russia probe: 'If you had seen what I have seen, you'd want me to go full throttle'

Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said the public would want him to "go full throttle" if they saw what he's seen during the investigation into Russia's election interference.

The committee's probe "is closer to its infancy than conclusion," Quigley said during an event moderated by longtime federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti in Chicago on Thursday.

And working with the committee's chairman, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, "has been much more difficult and troublesome" since the Russia investigation began, Quigley said.

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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
June 7: The 2016 primary season essentially concludes, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominees
June 9: Donald Trump Jr. — along with Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort — meets with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
June 9: Trump tweets about Clinton's missing 33,000 emails
July 18: Washington Post reports, on the first day of the GOP convention, that the Trump campaign changed the Republican platform to ensure that it didn't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces
July 21: GOP convention concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee
July 25: Democratic convention begins
July 27: In final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump asks Russia: "If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"
August 4: Obama CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia's interference. "[I] told him if you go down this road, it's going to have serious consequences, not only for the bilateral relationship, but for our ability to work with Russia on any issue, because it is an assault on our democracy," Brennan said on "Meet the Press" yesterday.
October 4: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange says his organization will publish emails related to the 2016 campaign
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails
October 7: Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence release a statement directly saying that Russia is interfering in the 2016 election
October 31: "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove," Trump says on the campaign trail
November 4: "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks," Trump says from Ohio.

He claimed that while Nunes stepped aside from the probe in April, he "has not fully given up" the responsibilities of that role.

"For instance, he insisted that he still be the one who signs the subpoenas," Quigley said. "So who's the boss? You can't have two people running the investigation on the House side. The subpoena power is extraordinarily important ... this has created just one issue we have in moving forward."

Nunes threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Chris Wray in contempt of Congress earlier this month if they did not respond to a subpoena for documents relating to the dossier alleging Trump's ties with Russian officials. He also subpoenaed the CIA, FBI, and NSA earlier this summer for more details about why Obama administration officials requested the unmasking of Trump associates last year. 

Quigley said that Nunes "is not the only" committee Republican creating problems.

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Trump statement
My statement on DAG Rosenstein's decisions to appoint a special counsel
.@SpeakerRyan Statement on the Appointment of Special Counsel
Appointment of special counsel is very positive. Mueller is a solid choice who will help reestablish public confide…
Robert Mueller’s appointment is a positive step. I am hopeful that he will help us get to the bottom of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
A special counsel is very much needed in this situation and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has done the right thing.
(1/2) I support the appointment of Bob Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation.
(2/2) Bob Mueller was a great U.S. attorney & FBI director. He’s respected, talented and has the knowledge & ability to do the right thing.
Having known him for years, I believe special counsel Mueller is a very good thing. He is one of the best -- indepe…
Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder on appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel in Trump/Russia affair:
"He has the expertise and experience, and the guts and backbone to uncover truth," Sen. Blumenthal says of Robert M…
Mueller is a good first step -- but can't take the place of an independent commission free from Trump's meddling.
I commend @TheJusticeDept for taking the appropriate step of appointing a special counsel.
Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel is a positive step. My statement:
Senator Collins’ statement on appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel #mepolitics
Murphy statement on appointment of special prosecutor for investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia
My full statement on the appointment of Special Counsel to oversee #TrumpRussia investigation…
Mueller does not erase the need for an independent commission. #ProtectOurDemocracy
.@RonWyden's statement on the appointment of special counsel
Here's my statement on appointment of a special counsel to lead FBI Russia investigation:
My statement on the appointment of a #SpecialCounsel to investigate the troubling #TrumpRussia ties:
I’m encouraged to see @TheJusticeDept has appointed a special counsel to lead the investigation into #TrumpRussia
Mr. Mueller is a man of integrity and well chosen. Must ensure he has resources necessary for a rigorous investigation #SpecialCounsel
Bob Mueller is a man of integrity. I have every confidence he will pursue this investigation and follow the facts,…
The issue of Russian meddling in our election must be investigated fully & former FBI dir. Mueller is well qualified to oversee this probe.

"I'm there as we're questioning witnesses. And some day these transcripts will be made public. Many of you are going to say, 'what the hell are they doing?' They seem to be taking over the role of a second attorney for the witness testifying before us. And it's conflicting, and it's difficult. It's difficult enough as it is to do this job when you're running into all of these obstacles."

Rep. Mike Conaway, who took over the Russia probe from Nunes after he stepped aside, was not immediately available for comment.

Quigley also lamented the lack of unity in the Russia probes, both between the House and the Senate — and between Democrats and Republicans.

The Illinois congressman went as far as to say it is "conceivable that Republicans and Democrats would have separate reports" if they issued their findings about the investigation today. 

"And that's very unfortunate," Quigley said. 

"I was old enough to understand, and watch, Watergate. This is so much more important. Because I believe, that if you had seen what I have seen, you'd want me to go full throttle. Anything that makes the analysis of this by Congress, or any other investigators, inconsistent in any way ... reduces how important this is."

Quigley added that he is very concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation "could be shut down."

"We've come very close to the edge" of a "constitutional crisis," he said, pointing to Trump's pardon of the controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio late last month.

"The president always fortells what he's out to do by messaging to his base," he said. "So when you saw him start to criticize [Attorney General] Sessions, you got a clue that he wanted to get rid of him."

"My message is to let everyone in the public know why this matters," Quigley said. "The American public needs to know everything it possibly can."

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