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Manafort Meets With Senate Intel While Under A Separate Senate Subpoena

Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign manager, has extensive ties to a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, making him a person of high interest to congressional committees investigating Russia's role in the 2016 election.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met behind closed doors Tuesday with Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, but it's unclear if that will be the end of his time on Capitol Hill this week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena Monday night to compel Manafort to also answer its members' questions in a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

It's possible the transcript of Tuesday's interview with the Intelligence Committee could be shared with the Judicial Committee and satisfy the subpoena — but in a statement, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein said the interview wasn't being made available to them.

"Therefore, [Monday] evening, a subpoena was issued to compel Mr. Manafort's participation in Wednesday's hearing," the statement said. "We may be willing to excuse him from Wednesday's hearing if he would be willing to agree to production of documents and a transcribed interview."

Both committees are investigating aspects of Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election. Manafort has become a central figure, as investigators look into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in part because of Manafort's extensive pro-Russia connections.

A spokesman for Manafort confirmed he met with the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday morning and said the former Trump campaign head "answered their questions fully."

Manafort was one of three top Trump campaign aides who attended a meeting in New York last year with a group of Russian advocates. Donald Trump Jr. had arranged the meeting in response to what his emails described as an offer of help from the Russian government with damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Another Trump aide who attended, Trump's son-in-law and current senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, spoke to Senate Intelligence Committee investigators on Monday and was on Capitol Hill to speak with House Intelligence Committee staff members on Tuesday.

NPR correspondents Geoffery Bennett and Tamara Keith contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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