QUESTIONS QUESTIONS

Congress to Grill Trump’s Data Guru and His Longtime Assistant

A few days before Christmas, Alexander Nix and Rhona Graff are scheduled to be interviewed by investigators digging into connections between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin.

Alexander Nix, the data guru who offered to help Julian Assange distribute Hillary Clinton’s emails, is scheduled to testify before the House intelligence committee on Dec. 14, according to a source familiar with the committee’s interview schedule.

The committee is also scheduled to interview Rhona Graff, Trump’s longtime personal assistant, on Dec. 22. Rob Goldstone—the music publicist who helped arrange the notorious June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Kremlin-linked Russian operatives—offered to send information on the meeting to Trump himself through Graff.

A spokesman for Cambridge Analytica, the firm that Nix heads, did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokesperson for the intelligence committee’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff, declined to comment.

The interviews are a part of the committee’s wide ranging probe into Russia’s interference with the 2016 elections. Congressional interviews are sometimes cancelled or rescheduled.

Last summer, Nix contacted Assange and offered to help him distribute stolen Clinton emails. Assange declined his offer. The Daily Beast was the first to report about Nix’s offer and Assange’s rejection of it.

Cambridge Analytica worked with the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. It is controlled by Robert and Rebekah Mercer, a billionaire father-daughter duo who also have invested in Breitbart, and have supported conservative political candidates.

Members of the House intelligence committee will likely ask Nix about his communications with Assange, who CIA Director Mike Pompeo once described as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

“Wikileaks will take down American anyway they can,” Pompeo said in July of this year.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, is an avowed fan of Wikileaks.

“I love Wikileaks!” he jubilantly proclaimed at a campaign rally on Oct. 10, 2016.