Subpoena dropped against former Trump campaign chairman

(ABC News) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee has dropped their subpoena compelling former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to appear after reaching a deal to work together, according to both sources close to Manafort and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed that an agreement was reached and 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-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., 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 statement continued.
 
The panel has withdrawn its subpoena but reserves the right to compel him to appear in the future, a judiciary committee source told ABC News.
 
The subpoena was originally issued on Monday and announced this morning.
 
"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," according to a statement from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member of the committee.
 
It continued, "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."
 
The statement said that Manafort may be excused from the 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."
 
Jason Maloni, a spokesperson for Manafort, told ABC News earlier today that Manafort spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning.
 
"Paul Manafort met this morning, by previous agreement, with the bipartisan staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee and answered their questions fully," Maloni said.
 
Maloni said of Manafort's then-ongoing negotiations with the Judiciary Committee, "Paul has been cooperating from the beginning, and we hope to work something out." A source with knowledge of those negotiations told ABC News that Manafort's team was invited to attend today's session with Intelligence Committee investigators but the Judiciary Committee declined that invitation.
 
Manafort, 68, joined the Trump campaign on March 29, 2016, to lead its delegate-wrangling efforts.
 
A news release from the Trump campaign at the time said Manafort was "volunteering his considerable insight and expertise because of his belief that Mr. Trump is the right person for these difficult times."
 
Manafort was promoted to the campaign's chairman and chief strategist in May and directed the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
 
He departed the campaign on Aug. 19, the day after The Associated Press reported that his firm had lobbied in the United States on behalf of the then-ruling Ukrainian political party even though he did not disclose his work as a foreign agent, as mandated by federal law.
 
ABC News' Ben Siegel contributed to this report.

© 2017 ABC News


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