Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have wasted no time in beefing up the investigative staff dedicated to continuing the committee’s work on its semi-dormant Russia probe, even as the committee’s new membership is still taking shape.
The new majority has made offers to half a dozen new staffers, CBS News has learned, and is still searching for six more. Among the latest hires are an expert in corruption and illicit finance and a former prosecutor…
“There’s a lot of work yet to be done on Russia,” a senior committee official told CBS News. “What we’re doing is we are creating a purpose-built team that will take the point on that.”
As they assume the majority, Democrats under newly appointed Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will add four members to the committee and more than double its staff, from 11 to roughly 24; Republicans will cut their staff count and, with some members having retired from Congress last year, likely keep their membership even at nine.
…the final team will likely bring with it the investigative and prosecutorial specialties Schiff has long sought.
As ranking member, the California Democrat consistently lamented being hamstrung by a Republican majority which, under then-Chairman Devin Nunes, D-Calif., seemed at best incurious about certain aspects of the Trump-Russia nexus. Schiff has also been publicly wistful about the special counsel’s investigative horsepower, telling an audience at the Council of Foreign Relations last February that he was “deeply jealous” of the team Mueller had assembled.
“I have a phenomenal staff,” he said at the time, “They’re bright and they work 24/7, seven days a week and they do it with no windows.”
“[B]ut they’re largely analysts," Schiff continued, "they’re not trained to be investigators.”
As the article goes on to explain, this deficiency will now be remedied as Schiff adds seasoned investigators to his team and brings a new level of commitment to a thorough investigation of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.
Contrast the focus and dedication under Schiff’s leadership with the roadblocks that Nunes imposed during his tenure - “House Republicans Are Trying to Thwart Dem Russia Probe,” New York Magazine, July, 2018.