Schiff: "There Is Evidence Of Collusion"; "Not Prepared To Make Conclusions About Strength Of Evidence"

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cali.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Charlie Rose that, yes, "there is evidence of collusion" between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign. Schiff said, "we need to follow the evidence wherever it leads," and then said he is "not prepared to make any conclusions about the strength of the evidence." "But is it circumstantial evidence?" Rose asked the Congressman. "From my point of view, it is not purely circumstantial," the Congressman from California said. Schiff claimed that not everyone involved in the investigation, including his counterparts in the Senate Intelligence Committee, has "seen the same evidence." "They get a different level of evidence," he said of the Senate Intel Committee. From Tuesday's broadcast of <i>Charlie Rose</i>: <blockquote>ROSE: Have you seen any evidence that anybody from the Russian team -- I mean, I'm sorry -- anybody from the Trump election team or transition team colluded with the Russians? Have you seen any evidence of that in terms of what you have witnessed? SCHIFF: You know, I have said yes, and I -- I still maintain that there is evidence of collusion, but I want people to understand, we are at the very beginning of an investigation, and we need to follow the evidence wherever it leads. I'm not prepared to make any conclusions about the strength of the evidence once we conclude our investigation. But there was a good basis for the FBI to begin its investigation. I think there's a good basis for the FBI to continue its investigation. I think there was a good basis for the appointment of Bob Mueller. I don't think any of these steps take place because this is just a suspicion or someone's hunch. So I think we're doing the responsible thing... ROSE: But... SCHIFF: ... which is a thorough investigation. ROSE: ... but is it circumstantial evidence? SCHIFF: You know, in -- from my point of view, it is not purely circumstantial. I can't and I don't want to go into the specifics of the evidence that we have been presented. And one of the challenges that we have, Charlie, is not all of us have seen the same evidence. There were of us that are part of the gang of eight, get one level of briefing. There was that are in the Intelligence Committee get a different level of briefing. Those who are in the judiciary committee that Sheldon Whitehouse and Lindsey Graham, chair and ranking member, they get a different level of evidence. And I think this points out maybe part of the reason why different members see the evidence in different ways. ROSE: You can confirm that there is -- at the FBI, there is person of interest high up in the White House? SCHIFF: No, I can't confirm or make comment on who the FBI may or may not be looking at. ROSE: Congressman Schiff, it's always great to have you in the program. Thank you for coming.</blockquote>