The Iowa Republican said his goal was to question Mr. Manafort about compliance with the Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires individuals who act as agents of foreign governments to disclose that information to the Justice Department. But he acknowledged that once Mr. Manafort is before the committee, he could likely be asked a broad range of questions including about the recent disclosure of a meeting he attended during the 2016 campaign between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer claiming to have compromising information on Hillary Clinton.
“My motive for bringing him to the committee is because of other involvements with whether or not the Foreign Agent Registration Act has been adequately enforced by this administration and by the Obama administration because I think it’s been lackadaisical enforcement and he would be an example of that lackadaisical enforcement,” Mr. Grassley toldthe Des Moines Register on Wednesday. “If he comes before our committee — and we’ll subpoena him if necessary — then … obviously it’d be appropriate for anybody to get into anything that went on at that meeting, since he was at that meeting.”
Mr. Manafort’s consulting firm retroactively filed FARA forms earlier this year disclosing that the company had received $17 million between 2012 and 2014 for work on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.
A series of emails disclosed Tuesday by the president’s eldest son showed him jumping at the chance for a campaign season meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton — though he denied colluding with her.
The email chain from June 2016 contains correspondence between the younger Mr. Trump and Rob Goldstone, a former British journalist and Trump associate who arranged the June 9 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
One email from Mr. Goldstone states that the “Crown prosecutor of Russia” had met with a previous business partner of the elder Mr. Trump and “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
Mr. Trump responded back within minutes, writing that “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
In another email confirming the date for the meeting, which was held at Trump Tower, the younger Mr. Trump forwarded a copy of the email chain to his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and campaign director Paul Manafort. Both attended the meeting.
A Justice Department-appointed special counsel team is investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election and any collusion with members of the Trump campaign.
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.