In its investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the Senate Intelligence Committee has spent more than a year trying to follow the money. But its efforts, unparalleled on Capitol Hill, have been hampered by a surprising force: the US Treasury Department, which has delayed turning over crucial financial records and refused to provide an expert to help make sense of the complex money trail. Even some of the department’s own personnel have questioned whether Treasury is intentionally hamstringing the investigation.
Little is known about what, exactly, goes on behind the locked doors that lead into the committee’s offices. But now, interviews and emails obtained by BuzzFeed News lay bare the numerous hurdles the secretive committee has faced in its mission to obtain and decipher troves of banking records that could shed more light on the Russian scheme — and whether the current president had anything to do with it.
Treasury has at times been reluctant to cooperate with the committee’s requests for sensitive financial documents that are significant to the Russia probe, at one point going at least four months without responding to one of the committee’s requests. [Continue reading…]