WASHINGTON – Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., revealed Friday morning.
Nunes, the committee chairman, also said he has asked FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers to testify in a closed session on Tuesday.
They are likely to be presented with information that contradicts their testimony before the committee on Monday that they had no information to support President Trump’s claims that President Obama spied on him.
While the NSA has agreed to turn over more reports on the apparent spying by the Obama administration, the FBI is apparently stalling or stonewalling.
Nunes said the FBI still has not agreed to his request to provide its intelligence reports on the Trump transition team.
Theses are the latest developments in a rapidly expanding story that could confirm President Trump’s accusation that the Obama administration spied on him and his inner circle.
A source told Fox News the NSA will provide the House Intelligence Committee with potential “smoking gun” documentation proving the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and maybe even the president-elect.
Multiple sources said the intelligence information will prove the Obama administration misused information gained from legitimate surveillance of foreign targets to spy on the president-elect.
That is said to include the “unmasking”, or revealing the identity of those spied upon and sharing those identities in the intelligence community, which would be a criminal offense.
Sources told Fox, “[T]he paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.”
Nunes said he expects the full extent of the spying to be disclosed Friday, and that he also expects the NSA documentation will provide more intelligence than he has already seen.
That will apparently include additional information that would appear to contradict testimony before the House Intelligence committee on Monday by Comey and Rogers that they had no information to support President Trump’s claims that President Obama spied on him.
It is not clear if any of that information will be made public on Friday, but it will likely take congressional investigators some time to examine the documents and determine their significance.
Nunes said on CNN that after reading reports he was confident the Obama administration “had a pretty good idea of what President-elect Trump was up to and what his transition team was up to and who they were meeting with.”
Nunes would not rule out the possibility that Obama was personally involved in the surveillance.
The Intelligence Committee chair revealed on Wednesday, as WND reported, that he had learned from intelligence sources that “on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.”
And that details about those people “were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting” even though they had “little or no apparent foreign intelligence value.”
Nunes also confirmed that names of Trump transition team members were unmasked, quite possibly in violation of the law, which the congressman said he found “alarming.”
The NSA documentation to be delivered to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday will reportedly verify the information Nunes revealed on Wednesday, and add to it.
Nunes said the committee will try to find out who saw the classified information, why the reports were not reported to Congress, and who requested and authorized the unmasking of those who were surveilled.
Perhaps of the greatest significance to former Obama administration officials, and Obama himself, is that the committee will also try to learn whether the intelligence community was ordered to spy on president-elect Trump.
When asked, Nunes said he could not rule out that Obama ordered the spying.
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On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was grilled about an AP report published Wednesday that claimed Manafort “secretly worked for a Russian billionaire with a plan to ‘greatly benefit the Putin Government,'” during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Peppered with reporters’ questions as to whether that proved some kind of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, Spicer repeatedly noted that the business dealings examined in the report were from the last decade.
And that Manafort was only involved with the Trump campaign for five months, ending in August.
He also noted, “Nothing in this morning’s report referenced any actions by the president, the White House or any Trump administration official.”
Spicer went on to turn the tables on the media narrative about Russia meddling in the election. He observed that, just recently, “John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, sat on the board of a Russian-based energy company. This was something tied to Hillary Clinton, who was the face of the failed Russia reset policy.”
Spicer also noted: “As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, along with the Obama administration, approved a deal that gave Russia one-fifth of America’s uranium reserves.
“Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, received over half-a-million dollars by a paid speech by a bank connected to the uranium deal. And Vladimir Putin personally called the former president and thanked him for giving the speech.”
The press secretary charged that the Clintons had far more extensive ties to Russia than did Manafort, and, “while secretary of state, Hillary was crafting a policy she said was designed to ‘strengthen Russia.'”
Spicer warned “members of the media trying to conflate Paul’s role in activities with Monday’s hearing” by Nunes’ committee on possible meddling by Russia in the 2016 election campaign.
“Numerous individuals,” recounted the press secretary, “including former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and acting CIA Director Mike Morrell and members of the intelligence community from both parties who have been briefed, have said across the board that they have seen zero evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.”
“And,” he concluded, “that’s not going to be changed by former business dealings of a campaign staffer from a decade ago.”