At this point so many of Donald Trump’s campaign advisers have been identified as potential targets in the investigation into his Russia scandal, it can be difficult to keep track. But as of today, here’s what’s clear: even in light of the appointment of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, the relevant congressional committees are still forging ahead. In fact they’re expanding their probe to include an additional Trump campaign adviser, who’s now being asked to testify.
Up to now, the Trump-Russia investigation has largely been believed to be focused on the likes of Trump campaign adivers Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Page. But now the House Intelligence Committee is turning its focus to Michael Caputo, who was a communications adviser for the Donald Trump campaign, according to the New York Times (link). The committee is seeking his testimony as well as any relevant documents he possesses.
Caputo has asserted that he’s done nothing wrong and that he knows of no wrongdoing, and he’s planning to oblige the committee’s request to testify. So we’ll see if anything illuminating comes out of it. It’s not clear that the committee sees him as a potential target of investigation; it could simply view him as a useful witness to events. Caputo left the Trump campaign in June (link), so his first hand knowledge of the campaign would seem to be limited to events prior to that date. But the larger story here seems to be that Congress is now doubling down on its efforts in the Trump-Russia investigation, rather than pulling back, in light of the Special Counsel.
It’s also far from the only sign that the Trump-Russia investigation is growing deeper and wider. Yesterday Jared Kushner was identified as a person of interest in the probe (link), marking the first time in which a current White House adviser has been targeted.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report