WASHINGTON — Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., face potential subpoenas if they don’t respond to a Senate Judiciary Committee request to publicly testify at a Wednesday hearing.
The hearing, titled “Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections: Lessons Learned from Current and Prior Administrations,” is separated into two panels. Up first to testify will be Deputy Assistant Attorney General Adam Hickey from the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, FBI Assistant Director Bill Priestap of the Counterintelligence Division, and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
The second panel, in the announcement issued by the committee, begins with Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder. It was one of Hermitage’s lawyers, Sergei Magnitsky, who discovered massive Russian government fraud that led to Magnitsky’s imprisonment, torture, and 2009 death, and the Magnitsky Act human rights sanctions against Russia passed by Congress. Browder said on his Twitter account that he plans on testifying.
Also listed is Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the company that was hired by Republicans in 2015 to do opposition research on Donald Trump and then retained by Democrats after Trump secured the GOP nomination. The firm used former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele to research Trump, information that would compose the infamous dossier that began circulating during campaign season and was brought to the attention of President Obama and President-elect Trump by the intelligence community in January.
Manafort and Trump Jr. round out the witness list, but have not confirmed if they’ll appear.
“We sent the letter, I don’t know whether they’ve accepted, but we sent the letter and we asked them for a voluntary appearance, and we also, I think we’ve indicated to them that — I don’t know if we said it in the letter or not — but we indicated to them, at least publicly I indicated to them that there will be a subpoena if they don’t come,” Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told CNN.
“We are having a hearing next Wednesday, so obviously we want to hear right away so we can get the subpoena — I hope they accept the subpoena voluntarily, but if they don’t then you have to have a marshal give it and that takes a little more time,” he added.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, told MSNBC on Wednesday that “the only admonition” the committee received from special counsel Robert Mueller “is to make certain that the witnesses testify under oath and publicly.”
“Other than that, no limitations,” Durbin said. “So certainly, questions can be asked on a lot of subjects.”
Bloomberg reported today that Mueller “is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates,” and “has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York” into Manafort.
Jared Kushner will also be on Capitol Hill next week, but his Monday visit to the Senate Intelligence Committee to talk to staffers there will unfold behind closed doors.