Grassley: Senate panel wants Paul Manafort to testify next week

Senate panel wants Paul Manafort to testify
Senate panel wants Paul Manafort to testify

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  • Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein lead the Senate judiciary committee
  • Grassley told reporters on Wednesday that they would like to interview Paul Manafort

(CNN)Senate judiciary committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Wednesday he wants Paul Manafort to testify before his committee next week, following revelations related to Donald Trump Jr.'s email exchange with a Russian lawyer regarding potentially damaging information against Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to reporters following FBI director nominee Chris Wray testifying before his committee, Grassley said he hoped that he could work Manafort testifying into a scheduled hearing next week. But if Manafort declines, the Iowa Republican said he and top Democrat on the committee Dianne Feinstein have other options.
"We're going to invite him and if he doesn't (accept), under our new rules, Sen. Feinstein and I have the power to issue a subpoena," Grassley said Wednesday.
    A spokesman for Manafort declined to comment.
    The request comes amid intensified interest over both Trump Jr. and Manafort. The two attended the meeting last year with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, along with Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
    Trump Jr. on Tuesday morning posted a series of emails between himself and Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who contacted Trump Jr. and told him about an opportunity to receive potentially damaging information about Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father's campaign. That email led to the June 9, 2016 meeting, at which Trump Jr. later said no meaningful information was provided.
    On Tuesday, Trump Jr. told Fox News' Sean Hannity: "In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently," but added that the meeting came before Russian involvement becoming a major story during the campaign season.
    Manafort has already been the subject of intense interest from investigators -- congressional and federal -- because of his work for former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych — Manafort's former client.
    Manafort already turned over a series of documents to congressional investigators and has offered to testify in their probes.