- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s former presidential campaign manager, is testifying behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee as it investigates Russian election meddling.

Walking through the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to the basement committee hearing room, Mr. Lewandowski told reporters he was going to “tell the truth, that’s what I do.”

An aggressive, charismatic field operative who helped shape the early days of Mr. Trump’s insurgent campaign, Mr. Lewandowski was forced out in June 2016 by veteran GOP political operative Paul Manafort, who served as Trump campaign chairman.

Mr. Manafort was later indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for money laundering activities outside his work for Mr. Trump.

Committee members have expressed an interest in asking Mr. Lewandowski about his relationship to campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI in October. At the time, it was revealed that Mr. Papadopoulos had been a “cooperating witness” with the special counsel’s Russia probe since his secret arrest in July.

Court filings show Mr. Papadopoulos emailed Mr. Lewandowski several times to let him know that the Russians were interested in forging a relationship with the campaign, The Washington Post reported last month. The Post said that included one message in May 2016, in which Mr. Papadopoulos forwarded to Mr. Lewandowski an offer of “cooperation” from a Russian with links to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Lewandowski has publicly stated he doesn’t recall receiving any correspondence from Mr. Papadopoulos and this past weekend Sunday reiterated that he and the Trump campaign are completely innocent of any collusion with Russia.

“I have nothing to hide,” Mr. Lewandowski told WABC Radio on Sunday. “I didn’t collude or cooperate or coordinate with any Russian, Russian agency, Russian government or anybody else to try and impact this election.”

On Wednesday, the committee was also taking testimony from Rick Dearborn, the White House deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs. Mr. Dearborn also established the Trump campaign’s Washington office and served as executive director of the presidential transition team after the election.

On Tuesday, embattled former White House strategist Steve Bannon testified before the House Intelligence panel for more than 10 hours but refused to answer a broad array of queries about his time working for Mr. Trump, leading the committee chairman to authorize a subpoena. Mr. Mueller also issued a subpoena to Mr. Bannon on the same day he was testifying before the House panel.

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