House Intel investigation expands to Trump campaign data firm

House Intel investigation expands to Trump campaign data firm
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The House Intelligence Committee has requested information from Cambridge Analytica about its work for President Trump’s presidential campaign as part of its investigation into Russian interference.

A spokesman for the data mining firm confirmed to The Hill that Cambridge Analytica “has been asked by the House Intelligence Committee to provide it with information that might help its investigation.”

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The Daily Beast first reported Wednesday that the House panel was investigating Cambridge Analytica’s work for the Trump campaign. However, the company spokesman refuted the notion that the company itself is under investigation, describing the report as having “significant inaccuracies.” 

“As one of the companies that played a prominent role in the election campaign, Cambridge Analytica has been asked by the House Intelligence Committee to provide it with information that might help its investigation,” the spokesman said. 

“We believe that other organizations that worked on the campaign have been asked to do the same. [Cambridge Analytica] is not under investigation, and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the company,” he said. 

Cambridge Analytica is a U.S. offshoot of its British parent company SCL Group that helped with Trump’s digital operation ahead of the 2016 vote. 

Stephen Bannon, who was fired as White House chief strategist in August, once served as a member of Cambridge Analytica's board of directors. Hedge fund billionaire and Trump backer Robert Mercer has also invested significantly in the company.                                                          

The company is said to be turning documents over to the committee. 

The House Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian interference is currently being led by Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayDems find an unlikely attack dog on Russia Overnight Cybersecurity: Cyber in focus at hearing for Trump DHS pick | House panel advances surveillance reform bill | Ex-Yahoo, Equifax CEOs grilled over breaches | States race to secure elections Fusion GPS co-founder strikes deal to talk about Trump dossier MORE (R-Texas). When contacted, an aide to Conaway declined to address specifics of the probe, citing the ongoing investigation.

Separately, Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale has agreed to an interview with the House committee in its probe. In July, he denied having any knowledge of Russian involvement in the campaign’s data operations. 

“The only collaboration I am aware of in the Trump digital campaign was with staff provided to the campaign by Facebook, Google and Twitter,” Parscale said in a statement accepting an invitation to meet with the committee. 

“Those experts in digital marketing worked side-by-side with our teams from Giles-Parscale, the Republican National Committee, and Cambridge Analytica to run a professional and winning campaign,” he said.

The latest revelation comes as the committee scrutinizes the extent to which Russia leveraged social media platforms in its interference campaign. 

Committee leaders said Wednesday that they plan to release Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked groups during the presidential campaign.