Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) is reportedly getting a reputation as a "pathfinder" on Capitol Hill due to his unparalleled ability to find any and all paths identifying collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has been prone to make suppositions about such matters as cooperation between Russia and Trump on social media, the Trump team engaging in money laundering in Russia, and Trump's tax returns potentially hiding illegal activity.
"Of most particular interest is the question of whether the targeting of these advertisements or the targeting of how they were pushing out negative news, organizing rallies, was somehow coordinated with the campaign, was it too sophisticated not to have used the data analytics of the campaign?" Schiff wondered on "Morning Joe" on Sept. 27.
"Far more compromising material would be if the Russians were engaged as they do in other places, like Europe, in illicit financial transactions and money laundering or something like that with the Trump organization. Then, they would have very powerful compromising material to hold over his head, and it could affect U.S. policy," Schiff told "Late Night" host Seth Meyers on Aug. 3.
""If the Trump organization was having trouble getting legitimate financing for its real estate and the Russians were looking for a place to launder their money through real estate, and the two came together, that I think would be very much within the scope of Bob Muller’s investigation," he said to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sept. 26. "So I do think Bob Mueller ought to follow the money wherever it leads, and that may ultimately lead to the president’s tax return."
However, he has often said he cannot comment on evidence when pressed to support some of his claims or hypotheses.
MSNBC host Chuck Todd asked Schiff if all he had on March 22 was a circumstantial case for collusion.
"Actually, no Chuck, I can tell you that the case is more than that. I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now," Schiff said.
Asked by Todd if he had seen direct evidence, Schiff said, "I don't want to go into specifics."
"It’s one thing for the Russians to engage in money laundering; it’s another thing if there are officials in the Trump organization engaging in money laundering. Is there any evidence to back up that assertion?" Blitzer asked on Sept. 26.
"I can’t go into any of the evidence," Schiff said.
When asked on "Face The Nation" on July 23 about his suggestion that Russians could use financial leverage over Trump to influence policy, Schiff remarked, "I don't want to comment on the evidence."