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Paul Manafort to Testify Before Congress

Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, has volunteered to testify before Congress as part of the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Reuters photo)

If the euphemism that American politics is like making sausage, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been around the factory long enough to know you don't eat the hot dogs.

In other words, you don't willingly put yourself at risk when you know you've done something you shouldn't.

So, the curious case of the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election took yet another odd turn Friday when House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced that Manafort would be interviewed by his committee. But beyond that, reports indicate that it was Manafort's attorneys who reached out to Nunes to make their client available for any questions he might have.

In addition to Manafort, former Trump campaign manager Roger Stone, who remains a close confidant to the president, has also made himself available to the committee, should it wish to interview him. In fact, Stone is demanding to have the opportunity to speak out publicly about the matter.

Meanwhile, Nunes has cancelled scheduled testimony by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Navy Adm. Mike Rogers were also scheduled to appear at the open hearing, but their testimony will now take place in a closed session—which has infuriated Democrats.

Nunes said what he found in recently leaked intelligence intercepts was "concerning," and he wants to ask the intelligence chiefs questions they won't be able to answer in a public setting. Evidence that he might have stumbled upon an actual problem quickly sprang up when the Washington Post's editorial board demanded that he be investigated as well.

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