Trump ex-campaign chief Manafort not testifying at Senate committee

Agence France-Presse
Trump ex-campaign chief Manafort not testifying at Senate committee

AFP

(UPDATED) A Senate committee investigating Russian election interference withdraws its subpoena compelling President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort to testify

WASHINGTON DC, USA (UPDATED) – A Senate committee investigating Russian election interference withdrew Tuesday, July 25, its subpoena compelling President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to testify, saying he has begun cooperating.

Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner are at the center of probes about a closely scrutinized meeting they and other campaign officials had with a Russian lawyer last year.

Manafort had been served a subpoena to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, July 26, but plans changed and the subpoena was retracted when he agreed to meet with committee investigators behind closed doors, Politico reported.

The panel said Manafort had “committed to negotiating in good faith” a time when he would be interviewed by the committee. 

The former Trump aide had tried to avoid a hearing in favor of a private transcribed interview submitted to one of the multiple congressional investigations into the alleged Russian interference. 

“It’s important that he and other witnesses continue to work with this committee as it fulfills its oversight responsibility,” Republican committee chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democratic member Dianne Feinstein said in a joint statement.

“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.”

Manafort spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Politico reported.

During last year’s election campaign, Manafort attended a meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who had promised the president’s son Donald Trump Jr compromising material on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate running against Trump.

Kushner, who is now a top aide to the president, also attended the June 2016 meeting and was interviewed Monday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

In a statement read out after the hearing, Kushner insisted he had not colluded with Russia to tip the election in his father-in-law’s favor. 

Kushner appeared again Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee, one of a slew of bodies investigating the Russian meddling claims. – Rappler.com

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