During the hearings on Russian involvement of the November 2016 election, politicians couldn’t help themselves from accusing Trump associates of being corrupt or somehow colluding with Russians to ensure Clinton’s defeat. One of those accused men, Paul Manafort, is now volunteering to testify before the committee.
Republican Congressman Devin Nunes said Friday that Manafort had volunteered to testify before the committee, but that he had no information on when the hearing would take place, or whether is would be open and public. He did state that he had further questions for FBI Director James Comey, which would take place in a closed hearing, again with no clear timeline.
Although Manafort has made it clear that he is willing to be questioned on his supposed Russian connections, his hearing, previously scheduled for this Tuesday, was cancelled to make time for a closed hearing with Comey. The House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat called the cancellation a move to protect Donald Trump.
“What’s really involved here is the cancellation of this open hearing and the rest is designed to distract.”
Manafort is among three other top Trump advisors who were named in a January 20th New York Times article that listed them as subjects of an investigation into Russian election interference. The other two men, Roger Stone and Carter Page, have both also volunteered to testify, but have yet to have been given that opportunity.
Page wrote in a letter to CNN,
“I would eagerly welcome the chance to speak with the Committee to help finally set the record straight following the false evidence, illegal activities as well as other lies distributed by certain politically-motivated suspects in coordination with the Obama Administration, which defamed me and other Americans.”
Stone has said on many occasions that he welcomes the chance to set the record and testify before the House Intelligence Committee, yet he has never officially been asked by the House. Why politicians insist on defaming Trump associates yet refuse to let them speak is a question left only to one’s imagination.