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Paul Manafort, Trump’s Former Campaign Chair, Subpoenaed by Senate

by Countable | 7.25.17

What’s the story?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have subpoenaed former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort in order to compel him to testify publicly on Wednesday.

Why does it matter?

The subpoena seeks to compel Manafort to appear in front of the Judiciary Committee for a public hearing Wednesday regarding enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and attempts to influence U.S. elections. Manafort’s participation in a previously undisclosed meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer has increased the focus on Manafort’s actions as then-candidate Trump’s campaign chair.

Originally, media reported that Manafort was going to testify, but the statement issued late Monday by Grassley and Feinstein suggests the details of the testimony were still being negotiated:

"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. Mr. Manafort, through his attorney, said that he would be willing to provide only a single transcribed interview to Congress, which would not be available to the Judiciary Committee members or staff. 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."

They’re still offering Manafort an out from public testimony, however:

"As with other witnesses, we may be willing to excuse him from Wednesday’s hearing if he would be willing to agree to the 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."

Since the subpoena is for Manafort to testify on Wednesday there’s a very tight time frame for Manafort to respond. If he refuses to respond to the subpoena they can hold him in contempt of Congress. There are a variety of steps the committee can then take to further compel him, including pursuing civil charges, having federal prosecutors impanel a grand jury, and sending Capitol police to escort him to the hearing.

Only the last option could force Manafort’s presence at Wednesday’s hearing, but it hasn’t been used since 1935.

What can you do?

Do you think the Senate Judiciary Committee should insist on transcribed, public testimony from Manafort? If so, should they use further steps at their disposal to force him to testify?

Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think today!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Disney/ABC News via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(34)
  • Sarah
    07/25/2017
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    Manafort has been given the opportunity to fully cooperate with the Congressional committee and Judicial advisory; he has declined. Every legal action should be used and enforced to obtain his presence & cooperation. He is a part of the deep well of deceit & dangerous pervasive activities in the Trump administration . Do your job, Representatives act to protect & abide by the Constitution NOW!.

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  • Keith
    07/25/2017
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    The fact that it took a subpoena just to get Mr. Manafort to comply, suggests that he has something to hide. Even if there is nothing, it looks suspicious that he is so uncooperative. I work in mental health, and if we have a resident suspected of drug use, we do a drug screen. If that resident refuses, we treat it as a positive. I realize the law is not as cut and dry; however, the principle still counts. Not cooperating, especially for something so monumental, looks very suspicious. I hope that Mr. Burr and the senate intelligence committee will keep that in mind as they proceed. Mr. Manafort is still innocent until proven guilty, but he's not doing himself any favors. And neither is the executive branch, when they constantly have to call into question the sources of information regarding the possible collusion committed by it and key members of the campaign. Ms. Conway can use all the props she wants in interviews, but it doesn't change how suspicious those key members are acting.

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  • Patty
    07/25/2017
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    As an ordinary citizen, I'm sure if I got subpoenaed I would not be allowed to negotiate the conditions of my testimony.

    Like (8)
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  • Dawn
    07/25/2017
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    Re: Paul Manafort. Has anyone thoroughly checked him out? It is my understanding that he worked for Russia for many years as a consultant. How do we know he's not still working for them?

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  • DrNat01
    07/25/2017
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    These people think they are above the law and can do whatever they want. I'm glad the Senate is finally taking this seriously and not letting Manafort get away with this. Where's the subpoena for Don Jr?

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  • Lisa
    07/25/2017
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    Manafort, Trump jr, Kushner, Ivanka, Sessions, Bannon, lewandowski, etc all need to testify in open session under oath.

    Like (8)
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  • Beth
    07/25/2017
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    Manafort does need to testify and to set terms in what he'll testify for is a bit tricky. He worked for Russia, the Ukrainian government. How Do we know for sure if he still isn't working for or sided with Russia in this matter. Time for the truth to come out not just in closed session for these 3 clowns, but in public session as well.

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  • Brian
    07/25/2017
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    For the sake of all that is holy force this man to comply or send him to prison for contempt. And I'm not talking country club prison. I'm talking prison prison. These white collar crooks have got to be made an example of. I'm so sick of living in a country where the rich white guys always get a slap on the hand. They need to know that illegal is illegal and they will be charged, prosecuted and imprisoned with the gangbangers, murderers, and pedophiles. It's out of control prosecute bad guys no matter where they come from or how much they have. Confiscate their assets like you do to drug dealers. Make people think twice about cheating and swindling and lying. If you're looking to create riots in the street and massive uprisings leading to civil war letting these assholes get away with all this lying and playing dumb then never being prosecuted. Stop the insanity and save our country.

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  • Ken
    07/26/2017
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    Usually when someone is found with their hand in the cookie jar their purpose is not to put cookies back in the jar. I smell swamp gas.

    Like (4)
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  • DavisTrev
    07/25/2017
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    Finally!

    Like (3)
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  • Jackson
    07/26/2017
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    The interview needs to be public to hold people accountable and discourage lying. Trust is very fragile. We know he is going to lie. We relay on the media to get to the bottom of it and expose the truth. He is going to dodge questions and spin facts but he may say one seemingly small thing that gets a journalists attention. If he is going to lie, he should do it to the entire United States of America. We need to get to the bottom of this because if it is true, we are vulnerable.

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  • Mark
    07/25/2017
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    There is too much smoke for there not to be a fire. Perhaps those who fervently support a moronic demagogue with no moral compass or ties to conservatism would prefer not to pull the fire alarm, but I think the majority of folks would call the fire department rather than suffer full thickness burns. Investigate and prosecute traitor Trump and his co-conspirators. Then it will be time to talk retaliation against the Russian government for their covert attack on American democracy. Never before has the fabric upon what this country is based been so ruthlessly attacked by a foreign government. Yes, there have been national tragedies where Americans, their servicemen and their soil have been attacked, but never has our electoral process been successfully and actively undermined. Perhaps it is time to pull our heads out of the sand and respond to this grave national threat.

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  • Vanessa
    07/25/2017
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    He is such a liar, they all are. Make them talk under oath or it's lies..

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  • Shari
    07/26/2017
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    The Senate Judiciary Committee should insist on transcribed, public testimony from Manafort. They should also use further steps at their disposal to force him to testify. His testimony is crucial to filling in the pieces of the puzzle. This is not an issue of partisan politics rather it is an issue regarding the possible subversion of our government.

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  • Oneda
    07/25/2017
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    The whole campaign, presidency, the family, and the cabinet members (constantly a revolving door) are suspect in collusion as more if uncovered. It's been six months of chaos in Washington,DC, with the whole world watching. And we are suffering because of it. Please do whatever possible to move this forward and out in the open so we can get back to the business of taking care of our country.

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  • Joanne
    07/26/2017
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    I believe we should have public testimony from Manafort and the rest of them under investigation. trump jr. Kushner, all of them. The public has a right to be part of this investigation into Russia. This is OUR country too, not just the politicians country.

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  • Mark
    07/25/2017
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    Never before, have I been so adamant about a leader of the United States refusing to obey our country's Constitution. Trump's continuous circumventing of our countries ways of governing is sickening. Besides money, and what it buys, how can America let this happen, with no consequences?

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  • Scott
    07/25/2017
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    Manifort should be forced to testify and held fully accountable for his actions as should the others who continue to lie about this issue.

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  • Lawrence
    07/26/2017
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    Finally...

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  • Dan
    07/26/2017
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    Good, there should be plenty of suspicion.

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