Trump aide with Russia ties offers to talk to House panel
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 29, 2017,
Mar 29, 2017, 17:35
When asked whether the committee would seek to compel testimony from former Trump associate Roger Stone, Nunes said he wasn't going to call others before the panel based on their appearances in news reports. ".For the most part I think these - these reports that I read for the most part are - are valuable intelligence".
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declined to reveal whether the source who provided him with information that he says proves the Trump transition team was surveilled by the previous administration is a whistle-blower, but he encouraged more people to step forward to his committee if they knew anything.
A terse Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) snapped at CBS host John Dickerson on Sunday morning, insisting that House Intelligence Committee head Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) did not speak with President Donald Trump about a Russian Federation investigation despite Nunes telling the press he did. Now it is associates of the president who are potentially the subject of investigation into whether they colluded in any way with the Russians. We could see something resembling what happened with the House Oversight Committee during the Obama years: Darrell Issa and Elijah Cummings regularly shouting at each other in public; a lot of tense hearings and mutual distrust; and competing leaks to the media.
Schiff also accused Nunes of attempting to "camouflage" the cancellation of an open hearing Tuesday with former top intellegence and Justice Department officials with another hearing - he has recalled FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers.
Manafort's spokesman, Jason Maloni, said in a statement that Manafort had "instructed his representatives to reach out to committee staff and offer to provide information voluntarily regarding recent allegations about Russian interference in the election". Former Vice President Joe Biden weighed in on Twitter, saying the chairman of a committee investigating the White House can't share information with that White House.
Himes said there are good reasons for Comey and Rogers to reappear before the intelligence committee. "... Where I think that the House process went off the rails was with that venture by the chairman to the White House".
The information "can only be addressed in [a] closed session", Nunes said, adding it will take place later in March. And the new details about Manafort's ties to a close Putin ally appear to contradict what Trump has previously said about Manafort's connections.
Schiff described the cancellation as part of a pattern of odd behavior by Nunes seemingly created to distract from the core issues of the Russian Federation investigation. He said Nunes needs to decide whether he wants to "continuing being a surrogate" for Trump or lead an independent investigation.
It is not clear if Manafort's interview with the committee will be conducted in public, although Schiff said it should be.
DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: A sign of where this fraud House investigation may be heading is the kinds of news conferences the panel's two leaders have been holding.