President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has “volunteered” to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee about his dealings with Russia, part of the committee’s probe into that country’s interference with the U.S. presidential election.
The announcement was made by committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who this week created a crisis of confidence in the bipartisan committee, when he got access to information about intelligence gathering that swept up Trump and/or his associates. Nunes made headlines when he took that information directly to Trump, whose associates are part of an FBI investigation about Russian rannygazoo in the election, while declining to share with Dem members of his own committee. Rep. Adam Schiff, top committee Dem, responded with a newser in which he said Nunes had to decide whether he wanted to lead the committee or be a Trump surrogate. Schiff followed that with news he had just seen new intel on collusion between Trump associates and Russia, which he described as the stuff of grand jury probes.
Nunes said Manafort’s counsel contacted the committee Thursday and offered his client for an interview that, Nunes said, would be private or public, at Manafort’s choosing. Given that Manafort was going to be hauled before the committee one way or the other, the move was smart, TV news pundits around the dial agreed.