Partisan split at House intel committee over canceled open hearing.
The House Intelligence Committee chairman (Devin Nunes) and the panel’s top Democrat (ranking member, Adam Schiff) publicly disagreed Friday over the handling of their investigation into Russian meddling into the US election, coming after the announcement that President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman agreed to testify before the committee.
“Yesterday, the counsel for Paul Manafort contacted the committee yesterday to offer the committee the opportunity to interview his client,” committee chairman Devin Nunes announced during a news conference. “We thank Mr. Manafort for volunteering and encourage others with knowledge of these issues to voluntarily interview with the committee.”
“Chairman just cancelled open Intelligence Committee hearing with (former Director of National Intelligence James) Clapper, (former CIA Director John) Brennan and (former deputy Attorney General Sally) Yates in attempt to choke off public info,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee tweeted moment before going to speak to the press Friday morning.
“Mr. Manafort instructed his representatives to reach out to Committee Staff and offer to provide information voluntarily regarding recent allegations about Russian interference in the election,” Manafort’s attorneys spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement. “As Mr. Manafort has always maintained, he looks forward to meeting with those conducting serious investigations of these issues to discuss the facts.”
Earlier Friday, Intelligence Committee member Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, accused Nunes of persistently serving “the interests of Donald Trump,” but stopped short of calling him to step down from the probe into ties between the Trump White House and Russia.