Spurred by a Daily Beast report pointing out the deficiencies of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign, Democratic members of the committee began openly criticizing the pace of the probe Monday evening.
“I’ve made clear to the bipartisan leadership of the committee that I have serious concerns about this investigation,” said Sen. Ron Wyden. “For weeks I’ve called for the committee to move more quickly and more transparently, particularly on the key issue of following the money in this investigation. For this investigation to be successful, the committee must recognize the enormity of the job and provide the resources to tackle it.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee has not conducted any interviews with figures in the Trump orbit, or begun looking into possible Trump-Russia ties.
“I think we need to move faster. I think we need to have more people, and more investigators,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I have some concerns. But I want to talk to the committee itself first before I say anything.”
The Daily Beast reported that, of the seven individuals assigned to the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation, none of them have a background in complex investigations and prosecutions.
"I'd always like to be going faster… I do feel like it would be helpful to have someone with prosecutorial experience," said Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats.
Lawmakers were still willing to give the committee’s investigation their cautious support, however.
“I’ve got confidence in the Senate team, on the Democratic side,” said Sen. Tim Kaine. “I’m a little bit nervous sometimes about what I see on the Republican side. But compared to the House, it’s still going strong.”