Reps. Zeldin, Love, Ratcliffe Call for Inquiry into House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Leaks

December 18, 2017
Press Release
Demand removal of Members and staff responsible for these violations

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), Congresswoman Mia Love (R, UT-4) and Congressman John Ratcliffe (R, TX-4) authored a letter submitted this morning to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi detailing their serious concerns with the improper public communication of information by Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Representatives Zeldin, Love, and Ratcliffe called for an inquiry into this matter and wrote that any Members or staff responsible for violating rules by improperly releasing communications to the media must be removed from this investigation.

“We write to you to address serious concerns regarding the integrity of investigations currently being undertaken by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Improper release of information to the media by committee members or staff is a serious violation of committee and House rules,” Members wrote. “Significant evidence that serious leaks have occurred in relation to the HPSCI investigation into alleged Russian meddling of the 2016 election must be immediately addressed. Members or staff who may have violated rules by leaking sensitive information to the press or other outside entities must be promptly removed from this investigation and proper inquiries undertaken without delay.”

A signed PDF of the letter is available here.

Full text of the letter is as follows:

Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi,

We write to you to address serious concerns regarding the integrity of investigations currently being undertaken by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Improper release of information to the media by committee members or staff is a serious violation of committee and House rules. Significant evidence that serious leaks have occurred in relation to the HPSCI investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election must be immediately addressed. Members or staff who may have violated rules by leaking sensitive information to the press or other outside entities must be promptly removed from this investigation and proper inquiries undertaken without delay.

Our serious concerns center around but are not limited to the leaks of privileged information by HPSCI members and/or staff to the press regarding an interview of Donald Trump, Jr. that took place on December 6, 2017. Under committee and House rules, the details of this non-public interview were not to be released publicly unless the committee voted to do so. Even with such a vote, the rules still allow for a witness and his or her counsel to review the transcript before public release. On December 7, as the committee’s eight hour interview of Donald Trump, Jr. was still underway, information from this closed session of the committee was clearly being leaked to the press. This is evidenced in multiple tweets and online articles that contained privileged information that only members or staff present for the interview would have been privy to. The leaking of privileged information continued after the interview had concluded. These serious violations need to be investigated and any members responsible for such violations must no longer serve as part of this investigation. Any staff who have violated committee or House rules must also face appropriate disciplinary action.

The integrity of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is of critical importance to the whole House and to the nation we are all tasked with serving. Your immediate attention to this matter is needed to ensure that the credibility of this body is not at risk as it undertakes investigations and handles sensitive issues of importance to the United States. We thank you in advance for your prompt reply.