A Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said his recent investigative trip to Cyprus in conjunction with the panel’s probe into Russia’s campaign influence operation added more dots to connect in the picture of what happened.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), though, was otherwise mum about the details of what he learned on the island well known as an intermediary for money laundering.
“I think you have to ask yourself why you go to Cyprus. It has been known as Russia’s Laundromat. And it’s part of our Intelligence Committee work,” Quigley told CNN on Thursday. “We need to understand how the global money laundering network works. It is absolutely critical to American foreign policy that our sanctions work. Well, people launder money to avoid taxes and to avoid sanctions. So, I mean, you have to put the two together to appreciate.”
“We use sanctions on North Korea. We use sanctions, obviously, on Russia involving Ukraine, so you put the two together. That’s why you go, to fully understand that process as well.”
Quigley stressed he “can’t reveal what I was told in confidence.”
“What I can say is, again, raise the question, why do you go to Cyprus? That’s because — you go there because the Russians launder their money there. It has been a key focal point for the Russians laundering money and key figures in this investigation,” he added. “So, I guess if you put two and two together, you understand why go there, the totality of circumstances helps us connect the dots and unfortunately, it creates more dots for us to connect.”
Asked if he found any evidence of wrongdoing or collusion, the congressman remain tight-lipped.
“I can tell you there was an important part of the investigation for me when I went to Ukraine and I went to Cyprus. This is where a lot of money laundering takes place,” he said. “This is where the Russians act and this is where key figures in the investigation have played as well.”
After returning from the trip, Quigley said in an April 14 statement that the Cyprus trip was “informative and timely” to “examine the nature and scope of Russian money laundering and how the use of offshore accounts, like those used in Cyprus, is one of many tools the Kremlin utilizes to exert undue influence abroad.”
The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), said the investigation is “back on track” after Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) took over for Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) as lead committee Republican on the probe.