Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski huddled with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators for over three hours Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Lewandowski is one of several Trump campaign officials that the Senate Intelligence Committee has interviewed in recent months as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials. Committee staff have also interviewed Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, who succeeded Lewandowski as Trump’s campaign manager.
Lewandowski’s interview was on the same day that the House Intelligence Committee attempted to depose senior executives of Fusion GPS, the firm behind a salacious dossier detailing allegations of President Trump’s personal and business dealings in Russia, as part of their probe into allegations of Russian meddling.
Senior executives Thomas Catan and Peter Fritsch spoke behind closed doors Wednesday morning, but refused to answer questions, invoking the First Amendment and their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
“No American should be required to appear before Congress simply to invoke his constitutional privileges,” said Josh Levy, a lawyer for the executives, calling the proceedings an “indignity” that even Watergate investigators didn’t foist upon their witnesses.
“Our clients have cooperated with Congress. We have worked with the other committees investigating this matter to strike the balance between Congress’s right to information and our client’s privileges and legal obligations,” Levy said in an emailed statement, referring to an August meeting Senate Judiciary Committee investigators held with Fusion GPS’s chief executive Glenn Simpson.
Simpson did not meet with the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, which conducted the depositions with Catan and Fritsch as two separate, 45-minute meetings. Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Fla., who is one of two members assisting Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, with running the investigation, was the only member of the committee to be identified as present during the interviews alongside staff.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Karoun Demirjian