House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Overview

The bipartisan House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence oversees the activities of all 17 government entities that make up the United States’ Intelligence Community as well as the Military Intelligence Program. Twenty-two Representatives (13 Republicans and 9 Democrats) serve on the committee. As with the Senate Intelligence Committee, the President must share even the most classified information with the top Republican and Democrat on the committee.

Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) is the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, but he has handed control of the Russia investigation to Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) while the Office of Congressional Ethics investigates allegations Nunes violated House rules by disclosing classified information to the public about Trump associates’ names appearing in US intelligence reports and not sharing that information with his committee.

On June 26, 2017, Nunes told CNN even though he removed himself from the investigation on April 6th, he has been following his committee’s work and could step back into his role as Chairman at any time.  

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) is the most senior member of the minority party on the committee – the Ranking Member - and he regularly speaks out on his committee’s work and comments on breaking news stories as they emerge.

Hearings Schedule

Members

Republicans

Democrats

Chairman Devin Nunes (CA-22)

Ranking Member Adam Schiff (CA-28)

Mike Conaway (TX-11)

Jim Himes (CT-04)

Peter King (NY-02)

Terri Sewell (AL-07)

Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)

Andre Carson (IN-07)

Tom Rooney (FL-17)

Jackie Speier (CA-14)

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27)

Mike Quigley (IL-05)

Michael Turner (OH-10)

Eric Swalwell (CA-15)

Brad Wenstrup (OH-02)

Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

Chris Stewart (UT-02)

Denny Heck (WA-10)

Rick Crawford (AR-01)

 

Trey Gowdy (SC-04)

 

Elise Stefanik (NY-21)

 

Will Hurd (TX-23)

 
Focus

The House Intelligence Committee has four main areas of focus as detailed by NPR:

  1. What did Russia do to influence the 2016 election?

  2. Were there any links between Russian operatives "and individuals associated with political campaigns?”

  3. How did the federal government respond to these efforts?

  4. How and why was classified information leaked during this process?

The House Intelligence Committee is divided along party lines in its goals. Democrats are honed in on uncovering any potential coordination between Trump associates and Russian operatives while Republicans are putting most of their efforts into exploring government surveillance methods and how and why American politicos may have gotten swept up in the process.

Rep. Adam Schiff also says his committee is expanding its focus to look into whether there is any sign of coordination or data sharing between the Trump digital operation and Russia’s social media assault during the 2016 campaign.

Notable Developments

April 27, 2018: Republicans release their final report on the committee's incomplete Russia investigation and conclude there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Democrats on the committee refer back to their Minority Views report released on March 26, 2018 in response, and Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) slams the GOP for choosing "not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia."

March 22, 2018: The committee majority votes to shut down the Russia investigation and begin the process of having its final report declassified. A Summary Table of Findings reveals Republican lawmakers took witnesses on their word, concluding while there were multiple meetings between Trump associates and Russians, there was no collusion or cooperation. 

March 12, 2018: Rep. Mike Conaway (R-CA) – without notifying or consulting committee Democrats – announces he is ending the Russia investigation. GOP members release a one-page summary of the committee's draft report which says among its official findings is "[c]oncurrence with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgments, except with respect to Putin’s supposed preference for candidate Trump" which stands in direct contrast with the intelligence community's assessment of Russian interference. The majority posts its Russia investigation public documents online.

November 2, 2017: Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page testifies before the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors. Four days later, on Monday, November 6, 2017, the committee releases a full transcript of Page's testimony. Many of Page's statements contradict his own previous assertions regarding contact with Russian officials and reveal that several members of the Trump campaign also knew about Page's travel and interactions. 

November 1, 2017: Facebook's general counsel Colin Stretch, Twitter's acting general counsel Sean Edgett, and Google's senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker testify openly before the full committee in the last of three appearances on Capitol Hill in two days. At the same time, the Democrats on the House Intel committee release some of the divisive and inflammatory ads and posts and related metadata the tech companies have turned over to investigators. 

October 24, 2017: House Intelligence Committee investigators meet with Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, and Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign's digital director, separately and behind closed doors but on the same day.

September 26, 2017: Roger Stone meets with Committee investigators behind closed doors. Prior to his appearance, Stone puts an opening statement online saying he has not done anything illegal and deeply resents any allegation he would collude with Russia. After the approximately three-hour session, Stone holds a press conference and says President Trump should fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller because he believes Mueller has a conflict of interest. Stone also says his entire exchange with the Committee was professional and fair, but admits he was unwilling to identify the intermediary who connected him to Wikileaks' Julian Assange, claiming the person was an off-the-record journalist. Representative Schiff says the Committee may have to subpoena Stone if he is not more forthcoming with information pertaining to the alleged intermediary. 

September 13, 2017: CNN reveals President Obama’s former national security advisor Susan Rice told investigators she requested an unmasking of the names of senior Trump officials because she wanted to know why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates visited New York on December 15, 2016. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan traveled to the United States without informing the Obama administration, a breach of diplomatic protocol, and met with high-level members of Trump’s transition team, including Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon. CNN says the group met for three hours and discussed a wide range of issues, which allegedly did not include setting up a backchannel line of communications between the incoming Trump administration and Russia.

However, the New York meeting did closely precede a secret January meeting in the Seychelles Islands set up by the UAE and attended by Erik Prince, a Trump ally, and an associate of Vladimir Putin’s.

July 25, 2017: Jared Kushner answers questions from members of the House Intelligence Committee for nearly three hours behind closed doors. Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) says Kushner is “straightforward and forthcoming.” Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) calls the session productive and notes Kushner and his lawyer are open to coming back for additional questioning.

July 14, 2017: Brad Parscale, Digital, Social & Media Advisor for the Donald J. Trump Presidential Campaign, tweets that he will testify before the House Intelligence Committee later this month as requested.  Other expected interviewees include Michael Caputo, Paul Manafort, Susan Rice, and Roger Stone. The committee also is seeking to speak with Jared Kushner and has subpoenaed Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen.

June 29, 2017: Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee announce they are working together to find out if the White House has any recordings or other documentation of President Trump’s meetings with fired FBI Director James Comey. This comes after tweets from the President referencing the existence of such recordings followed by tweets indicating that he has no such evidence. After the Administration contended the President’s June 22nd tweets constituted a sufficient response to the Committee’s inquiry, Reps. Conaway and Schiff issued a joint statement saying they disagree and would subpoena the White House if necessary.

June 21, 2017: Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before the committee on what US intelligence knew about Russian cyber attacks on US election systems prior to November 2016.  He faces tough questions about why the Obama Administration didn’t tell the public about Russia’s interference until October 2016.  (VIDEO)

May 23, 2017: Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the Committee and firmly states he has no doubt Russia interfered in the 2016 election. He says he has concerns about some contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians that took place during that time. (VIDEO)

May 4, 2017:  Representatives Conaway and Schiff hold a joint press conference to announce they had a successful classified hearing with fired FBI Director James Comey and current National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers.

Potential Outcome

UPDATE: Committee Republicans unilaterally shut down the Russia investigation on March 12, 2018 and announced they will write a report detailing their findings. Committee Democrats, who were not informed in advance of this decision, believe the investigation is far from complete. 


The Committee plans to share its findings, but so far, it is unclear whether that means members will produce one cohesive, bipartisan report or two separate documents – one from Democrats and one from Republicans.