Judiciary chairman will call Manafort to testify, threatens subpoena

Judiciary chairman will call Manafort to testify, threatens subpoena
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday said he plans to call Paul Manafort, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE's former campaign chairman, to testify before his panel. 

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Horowitz did not find evidence Obama asked for probe of Trump Live coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill MORE (R-Iowa) told reporters he would subpoena Manafort if necessary to ask him about his compliance with the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), according to the Des Moines Register. 

Manafort retroactively registered as a foreign agent under FARA last month, revealing his firm had worked for a Ukrainian political party between 2012 and 2014. 

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"My motive for bringing him to the committee is because of other involvements with whether or not the Foreign Agent Registration Act has been adequately enforced by this administration and by the Obama administration because I think it’s been lackadaisical enforcement and he would be an example of that lackadaisical enforcement,” Grassley said.

Grassley said he's working closely on the matter with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSanders endorses Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur for Katie Hill's former House seat Houston police chief stands by criticism of McConnell, Cruz, Cornyn: 'This is not political' Senate confirms Trump's 50th circuit judge, despite 'not qualified' rating MORE (Calf.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, and they've "already agreed" that they should bring Manafort in.

The Iowa senator said the committee may also question Manafort about his presence at a June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney and on the wider allegations of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. 

“If he comes before our committee — and we’ll subpoena him if necessary — then … obviously it’d be appropriate for anybody to get into anything that went on at that meeting, since he was at that meeting,” he said. 

Manafort's campaign activities are likely part of the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the presidential race, led by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.