July 25 (UPI) — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday subpoenaed Paul Manafort, the former chair of Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, about its investigation into purported Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., issued a joint statement Tuesday announcing the subpoena — to “compel Manafort’s presence at a public hearing” Wednesday.
The panel said the hearing will relate to the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act and the Russian investigation, adding that it would excuse Manafort from the hearing if he’s “willing to agree to production of documents and a transcribed interview.”
Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee during a closed-door session on Tuesday and “answered their questions fully,” spokesman Jason Maloni said. It is not clear what questions the committee asked Manafort.
Although Manafort was set to appear before the intelligence committee Tuesday, the judiciary committee still issued the subpoena for Wednesday.
“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,” the committee said in a statement. “While the Judiciary Committee was willing to cooperate on equal terms with any other committee to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request, ultimately that was not possible. Therefore, [Monday] evening, a subpoena was issued to compel Mr. Manafort’s participation.”
Manafort, who repeatedly denied coordinating with Kremlin agents, registered last month as a foreign agent after making more than $17 million from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. His filing is the first time he acknowledged his lobbying work for Ukraine’s former president was aimed at influencing U.S. policy makers.
The committee’s subpoena came as White House adviser Jared Kushnertestified Tuesday in a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia probe. Monday, Kushner met with the House’s intelligence panel for the same purpose.
Kushner said Monday his four meetings last year with Russian representatives were “proper,” and refused the notion that he colluded with them to sway the election in Trump’s favor.