House Intelligence Committee Closes Doors to Public for NSA, FBI Testimony

Paul Manafort, former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, has volunteered to appear before the committee investigating alleged interference in by the Kremlin in last year's USA election.

Nunes also announced that the committee has requested FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency director Admiral Michael S. Rogers, who testified in an open session Monday, to return to testify in a closed session.

Democrats, and some key Republicans, have offered up Nunes's "dead of night" sprint to the White House-as Schiff characterized it-as evidence that he is incapable of leading a proper investigation into Russia's interference with the 2016 election, specifically as it pertains to potential ties between the president's associates and Kremlin officials. And it's not just that he hasn't shared them with Democrats on the committee, he hasn't shared them with Republicans on the committee.

"We welcome his testimony before the committee", he said.

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.

It lead the second most senior member of the committee, Democrat Adam Schiff, to question whether Mr Nunes was working as a "surrogate of the White House".

The Associated Press reported that prior to joining the Trump campaign, Manafort worked for a Russian billionaire on a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin Government".

While looking forward to Paul Manafort testifying before the Intelligence Committee, Schiff was angered that testimony would be blocked from the public.

Nunes and Schiff both have rejected Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama had ordered Trump Tower to be placed under electronic surveillance during the transition period. He called Nunes' Wednesday conference a "peculiar excursion" that seemed like an attempt to bolster Trump, even though the evidence did not support the allegation.

In testimony Monday, Comey revealed that the Trump campaign is the subject of an FBI investigation into whether it coordinated with Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton.

House Intel Committee's top Dem on Friday blasted GOP chairman Devin Nunes after he cancelled Tuesday's public hearing with members of the Obama administration.

Last Wednesday, Nunes said he had learned from a source that the US intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of Trump's transition team and then "widely disseminated" the information internally. Manafort, who was Trump's campaign chairman for several months previous year, dismissed the report, the newspaper said.

"This is not a desire to have them come back in closed session, and somehow that's a conflict with having an open hearing that is already scheduled and witnesses who have already agreed to appear", Schiff said.

  • Larry Hoffman