The Senate Judiciary Committee has dropped a subpoena on Tuesday to compel the testimony of the former chair of Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, about its investigation into purported Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. According to sources close to Manafort and the Senate Judiciary Committee, both sides reached a deal to work together.
The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed that Manafort will not be at the committee’s hearing on Wednesday as the subpoena originally compelled him to be.
“Faced with issuance of a subpoena, we are happy that Mr. Manafort has started producing documents to the Committee and we have agreed to continue negotiating over a transcribed interview. It’s important that he and other witnesses continue to work with this committee as it fulfills its oversight responsibility,” according to a statement from Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), the ranking member of the committee.
“Our investigation is still in its early stages, and we will continue to seek information from witnesses as necessary. As we’ve said before, we intend to get the answers that we need, one way or the other. Cooperation from witnesses is always the preferred route, but this agreement does not prejudice the committee’s right to compel his testimony in the future.”
The panel has withdrawn its subpoena but reserves the right to compel Manafort to appear in the future. The subpoena was originally issued on Monday and announced Tuesday.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, (R-IA), and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), issued a joint statement Tuesday announcing the subpoena—to “compel Manafort’s presence at a public hearing” Wednesday.
The panel said the hearing would relate to the Russian investigation and the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, adding that it would excuse Manafort from the hearing if he’s “willing to agree to the 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.
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 and later dropped as White House adviser Jared Kushner testified 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.
By LeNora Millen 07-25-17