Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign manager, is handing over documents to a Senate committee investigating attempts by the Russian government and foreign agents to influence American elections, the committee announced Tuesday night.
Manafort had been subpoenaed by the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify at a public hearing Wednesday, but the committee has agreed to withdraw the subpoena in exchange for him committing to "negotiate in good faith" to find a future date to interview with the committee.
“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," committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement Tuesday night. The senators added that "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 senators did not specify what the documents they have received relate to.
The committee originally said last week that it would not subpoena Manafort as it negotiated an agreement with him to provide documents and be interviewed by committee members and staff. But Grassley and Feinstein said in a joint statement earlier Tuesday that they had been unable to finalize the deal.
"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," Grassley and Feinstein said.
The subpoena was issued on Monday evening, according to the statement.
Asked about the subpoena, a spokesman for Manafort said in a statement that Manafort met on Tuesday morning, "by previous agreement, with the bipartisan staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee and answered their questions fully."
Manafort was among a list of witnesses that the Senate Judiciary Committee asked to testify at a hearing on the Foreign Agents Registration Act and influence in US elections. Donald Trump Jr. was also on the list, but Grassley and Feinstein announced on Friday that, as was the case with Manafort, they were negotiating an agreement with him to provide documents and be interviewed by the committee. Grassley said at the time that Trump Jr. and Manafort would eventually "appear openly."
This story has been updated with a new statement from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Zoe Tillman is a legal reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Zoe Tillman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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