Former chief strategist Steve Bannon and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski have both been asked to testify by the House Intelligence Committee in January on Russian interference with the 2016 election. Bloomberg:
The committee hasn’t yet received a response from either Bannon or Lewandowski. The invitation, which didn’t come in the form of a subpoena compelling them to testify, was for a “voluntary interview” in the committee’s offices, which means it would be held behind closed doors, the official said.
The letter doesn’t lay out specific reasons the committee wants to interview them, or the questions the panel wants to pose, but it makes clear that the interviews are part of the Russia investigation.
It’s a no brainer that Bannon will be asked about Facebook ads, Russian bots, and Cambridge Analytica.
During the campaign, Bannon was also a liaison to its data-analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica.
Alexander Nix, the chief executive officer of Cambridge Analytica, met with the House Intelligence probe earlier this month. Nix faced questions about whether he sought material from WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that was stolen from computers of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, who managed Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Lewandowski’s relationship with “coffee boy” Papadopoulos is of interest.
Before Lewandowski left, he was among among several senior Trump campaign officials who received communications from foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos about his outreach to the Russian government, according to published news accounts.
The Washington Post reported last month that court filings show Papadopoulos wrote to Lewandowski several times to let him know that the Russians were interested in forging a relationship with the campaign.
One of the topics covered in Bannon’s now famous interview with the New York Times was Trump Russia, which Bannon basically dismissed in an offhand and blase manner. It will be interesting to see if that continues when testifying before the House.
The pattern here is discernable and easy to follow. Mueller is inching closer and closer into Trump’s inner circle. Junior and Jared are coming up soon.