Former Trump campaign chief Lewandowski huddles with Senate investigators

  • File-This Aug. 3, 2017 file photo shows Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, speaking at the City Club of Cleveland, in Cleveland. Neighbors of Lewandowski say he harassed them in a land dispute and threatened to use his "political clout" to make their life "a nightmare." Glenn and Irene Schwartz countersued Lewandowski this month after he filed a 5 million lawsuit in July over access to a pond-front property in Windham, New Hampshire.(AP Photo/Dake Kang, File) Dake Kang

Washington Post
Thursday, October 19, 2017

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 election 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, as well as 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.