The Senate Judiciary Committee has just lost its patience in its discussions with former Trump aide Paul Manafort.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Diane Feinstein last night issued a subpoena to compel Paul Manafort’s presence at a public Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday regarding enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and attempts to influence U.S. elections.
Grassley and Feinstein made the following comment:
“While we were willing to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request to cooperate with the committee’s investigation without appearing at Wednesday’s hearing, we were unable to reach an agreement for a voluntary transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee. Mr. Manafort, through his attorney, said that he would be willing to provide a single transcribed interview to Congress, which would not be available to the Judiciary Committee members or staff. While the Judiciary Committee was willing to cooperate on equal terms with any other committee to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request, ultimately that was no possible. Therefore, yesterday evening, a subpoena was issued to compel Mr. Manafort’s participation in Wednesday’s hearing. As with other witnesses, we may be willing to excuse him from Wednesday’s hearing if he would be willing to agree to production of documents and a transcribed interview, with the understanding that the interview would not constitute a waiver of his rights or prejudice the committee’s right to compel his testimony in the future.”
So, basically, Manafort is trying to dodge this one as much as possible, but he’s now going to have to appear in public, unlike Jared Kushner, who simply spoke off-camera to members of Congress and their aides.
Manafort is still under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller over potential money laundering in the probe of Russia’s interference in the U.S. election. Mueller started looking into Manafort’s financial transactions weeks ago.
Manafort is also being investigated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.