Political News

Schiff calls for Sam Nunberg to testify in House Russia investigation

Posted March 5, 2018 7:12 p.m. EST

— Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday that the House panel needs to interview former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg as part of its Russia investigation.

Schiff said Nunberg's assertion that President Donald Trump may have known about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting before it occurred is an area that the committee needs to explore.

The congressman called on Nunberg to testify following his declaration in numerous television interviews Monday that he would refuse to comply with a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller. Among other comments Monday, Nunberg suggested that Trump may have known beforehand about the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer.

"Certainly if Mr. Nunberg has light to shed about what the President knew about the Trump Tower meeting, we would like to find out," Schiff said.

But Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican leading the committee's Russia probe, seemed to throw cold water on the idea that the committee should speak to Nunberg, who was an early adviser to Trump's campaign before he was fired in August 2015.

Conaway suggested there's little interest in bringing Nunberg in to testify before the panel, and seemed to downplay the former Trump adviser's comments that Trump knew about the June 2016 meeting in advance.

"I think we've pretty much explored that to death," Conaway said when asked if the panel had fully investigated the circumstances around the Trump Tower meeting.

Schiff argued that Nunberg is one of a number of witnesses the committee still needs to interview.

The dispute over Nunberg comes as Conaway and other Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are signaling that the panel's Russia investigation is nearing an end.

Conaway didn't give a time frame Monday but suggested to reporters that the committee's writing of a final report will happen relatively quickly. He would not say whether there are any other witness interviews to come after this week.

The committee plans to speak to former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Thursday, a source says. This would be the second time it meets with Lewandowski after he refused to answer questions about matters that took place once he left the Trump campaign in 2016.