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Ex-Trump campaign manager Lewandowski faces Russia interview

Former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, center, and his lawyer Peter Chavkin, second from left, arrive to meet behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 8, 2018. | AP Photo

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was meeting with the House intelligence committee Thursday for a second time as part of the panel’s Russia investigation.

Lewandowski was fired months before Trump was elected, and has held no official positions in the White House. But he has remained close to Trump and has been a prominent defender of Trump on television.

At a January interview with the panel, Lewandowski answered questions about his time on the campaign but refused to answer questions about events after the election, saying he wasn’t “prepared” to do that. Lawmakers said they wanted to ask him about that time period because he had still been in close touch with Trump and White House officials.

It’s unclear whether Lewandowski will answer any of those questions in his return visit. The committee has had similar trouble with other recent witnesses, including longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks, who refused to answer questions from the time period after Trump’s inauguration. Former White House adviser Steve Bannon has also refused to answer questions about his time in the White House even though the committee subpoenaed him.

The committee’s investigation is one of several congressional probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and whether Trump’s campaign was involved. Republicans on the House panel have said they want to wrap up the investigation soon, but Democrats argue there are still many witnesses who should be called.