Despite many unanswered questions about connections between President Donald Trump, his inner circle, and Russian officials, Republican members of Congress have so far been reluctant to pursue a robust investigation.
But during an interview with Maine Public Radio on Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) expressed confidence that Congress will conduct a thorough, bipartisan investigation.
“I am confident that since this is a completely bipartisan investigation with full-time staff, that we’ll get to the bottom of this,” she said, adding that she anticipates the investigation will culminate in a public report.
Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she and other members want former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to testify before them. Flynn lost his job last Monday after it was revealed he had lied about discussing Russian sanctions during his pre-inauguration communications with the Russian ambassador. The next day, news broke that the Trump campaign was in “constant contact” with Russian intelligence before the election. The U.S. intelligence community has made public its findings that Russia used cyberattacks and other methods to meddle in the presidential election on behalf of Trump.
“I am going to request, and many of the members will, that we call Mike Flynn to come testify — the former national security adviser — to testify before us, so we’re not going to exclude anyone from our review,” Collins said. “It will be thorough, accurate, bipartisan, and in depth.”
Collins even signaled openness to subpoenaing Trump’s tax returns in hopes of shedding light on his financial dealings in Russia.
Asked whether they’d request Trump’s returns, Collins said, “If it’s necessary to get to the answer, then I suspect that we would.”
Collins’ comments come days after FBI Director James Comey briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to CNN, the briefing was about Russia. Senators were very tight-lipped afterward, but later that evening, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted this:
I am now very confident Senate Intel Comm I serve on will conduct thorough bipartisan investigation of #Putin interference and influence
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 17, 2017
The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, has also expressed confidence that the Senate will be able to conduct a thorough, bipartisan investigation.