House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said on Wednesday that lawmakers are concerned Russians might have used the Trump Organization to launder money, according to Newsweek.
Schiff said during an appearance on MSNBC that his committee has begun looking into the matter, as he answered questions regarding next steps for those who are probing the president’s ties to Russia.
The Democrat also indicated that even if special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference fails to turn up evidence of wrongdoing on Trump’s part, Congress might discover other damning information about the president or his business that shows he is compromised by a foreign power.
“If there’s insufficient evidence in the Mueller report and we’re not able to produce sufficient evidence in our own investigation, that ends the inquiry,” he said. “There may be grounds for removal from office or there may be grounds for indictment after he leaves office that the Congress discovers.”
Schiff pointed to possible money laundering as a particular avenue of interest:
“One of the issues that we are looking at, which the Mueller report may not cover, is whether the Russians were laundering money through the Trump Organization,” he explained. “Our predominant concern to my committee is, Was this president—is this president—compromised by a foreign power?”
Earlier in the week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told The Washington Post that impeachment is not on her radar, saying Trump is “just not worth it”, as she believes the process would only further divide the country.
"Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country," Pelosi said.
But Newsweek noted that she also said she finds Trump to be “ethically” and “intellectually” unfit for the office of president.
Despite such criticism, Trump welcomed the speaker’s stance, tweeting, “I greatly appreciate Nancy Pelosi’s statement against impeachment, but everyone must remember the minor fact that I never did anything wrong, the Economy and Unemployment are the best ever, Military and Vets are great - and many other successes!”
Some of Pelosi’s colleagues in the House disagree with her assessment and have vowed to push forward with the beginning stages of the process.
Rep. Al Green (D-TX), who has so far forced two failed impeachment votes against the president, said: “I think the country is worth it. I think the Constitution is worth it, and I don’t place my word in a person who happens to be causing harm to society.”
Likewise, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said she intends to introduce a House resolution to “begin investigating the impeachable offenses” of the president, regardless of the speaker’s position — though she clarified that the move “doesn’t mean we’re voting on it.”
“It means we’re beginning the process to look at some of these alleged claims of impeachable offenses,” she said.