Trump's former campaign chief offers to testify on Russian Federation
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 30, 2017,
Mar 30, 2017, 9:32
Earlier today, Nunes told reporters that Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, would give testimony to the committee's probe into the president's connections with Russian Federation.
Let's start with Nunes. "We thank Mr. Manafort for volunteering and encourage others with knowledge of these issues to voluntarily interview with the committee".
He did not know whether the interview would occur in a closed or open session.
Most likely, he continued, the intercepted conversations had nothing to do with Russian Federation or criminal investigations, but was "likely small talk, but the president-elect of the United States and people close to him and his transition team were unmasked". This time, he said it will be a closed hearing.
"We're not going to get into a neo-McCarthyism era here where we just start bringing in Americans because they were mentioned in a press story", he said.
Schiff accused Nunes of canceling the hearing, which was to have heard from Obama administration officials, to "choke off public information" and avoid any more embarrassment to the White House. When they will now appear before the committee is not known, a committee spokesman said.
Tuesday's hearing was a continuation of a hearing on Monday which featured FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers.
"It's a naked attempt to shut down an open hearing", Himes said. "I think that was merely an effort to camouflage the true object here, which was the closure or the cancellation of the hearing with Sally Yates".
"It must have been a very strong push back about the nature of Monday's hearing", Schiff said. "Its hard for me to come to any other conclusion about why it would be cancelled".
Manafort is not a subject of the new documents Nunes has been talking about.
"Has he shown you any of what caused him to suggest that Obama officials doing surveillance captured some Trump campaign associates and unmasked them in the process of investigating?"
On Friday, Nunes walked further away from Trump's position. The other is Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser with ties to Russian Federation. That's not a different stance than he took on Wednesday, but it is a blunter one. The claims have been widely dismissed - even by the British government after the White House said their intelligence service carried out the surveillance.
The U.S. congressional committee tasked with investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign has asked the heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency to testify again about the matter, the head of the committee said Friday.