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The intelligence committee also voted Wednesday to send Mueller the transcripts from the panel's earlier Russian Federation investigation.

Vowing not to be "intimidated" by Donald Trump, the new Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the panel will probe whether foreign governments or individuals had improper leverage over the president or his business interests.

"The President's actions and posture towards Russian Federation during the campaign, transition, and administration have only heightened fears of foreign financial or other leverage over President Trump and underscore the need to determine whether he or those in his Administration have acted in service of foreign interests since taking office", Schiff said in a statement announcing the expanded investigation.

Cohen, who is set to go to prison on March 6 after pleading guilty to crimes including campaign finance violations during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, was scheduled to appear before the panel for closed testimony on Thursday.

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Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, released a statement on Wednesday outlining the five main areas of focus for the group's probe into Russian Federation election interference.

Schiff said Special Counsel Robert Mueller had access to the transcripts but a formal release was necessary for him to be able to use them in any prosecutorial proceedings.

The California Democrat also announced a delay in an upcoming closed-door interview with Trump's former fixer and personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, "in the interests of the investigation". After Cohen pleaded guilty to the Mueller charges on November 29, Trump called his former lawyer a liar, "a weak person and not a very smart person".

Stone pleaded not guilty to charges last month that he lied to the House panel about his discussions during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released thousands of emails stolen from Democrats.

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Schiff also said the committee plans to release all transcripts of testimony given to the committee.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans said in a joint statement that they're "happy" about making "all the transcripts available to the executive branch, including the Special Counsel's office, as part of the process of publishing them for the American people to see".

Mueller requested Stone's interview transcript a year ago and the panel voted to release it in December.

The committee had already voted to release most of the transcripts to the public, but they are still being reviewed by the intelligence community for classified information. Among those whose transcripts would be sent are Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon.

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The committee will also investigate whether any of the president's policy decisions were the result of foreign exploitation and whether any foreign actors are attempting to impede congressional or other investigations into those topics.


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