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Paul Manafort. Fuente: US News.
Paul Manafort. Source: US News.

Manafort to the witness chair

The Senate Judiciary Committee has called on former Donald Trump campaign chief to appear on Wednesday.

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Paul Manafort has also been called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee assessing possible Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort's connections with Russian officials have put him on the map of alleged collusion to benefit now-President Trump in the presidential race against Hillary Clinton.

The issue known as Russiagate has been the ghost that has pursued and overshadowed the early months of Donald Trump's rule, after the FBI determined that Russian intelligence definitely intervened in the presidential election, raising the hypothesis that its platform of internal contact could have been the campaign team of the new president.

The investigation took a dramatic turn once President Trump decided to fire James Comey, the director of the FBI who led the investigation. Since then, a special prosecutor has been appointed in the case and two government investigation committees have convened people close to the new administration to evaluate their involvement in the case.

Just yesterday, the president's son-in-law and his personal adviser, Jared Kushner, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, delivering a statement in which he asserted that he had not participated in private negotiations with Russian officials in any way, detailing his "few" meetings with Moscow officials, including a lawyer who claimed to have compromising information from Hillary Clinton.

Former campaign director Paul Manafort and the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., were also summoned, who until Monday were negotiating with their legal advisors about their appearance on Capitol Hill. According to The Atlantic, the Judicial Committee call on Tuesday suggests, "the panel’s patience with Trump’s former campaign head had run out”.

Since the beginning of the Russian investigation, and since the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for not having specified the nature of his talks with the Russian ambassador in the United States, connections between the president's close advisers and Russian officials have been very well documented by the media.

In the case of Manafort, the former campaign director held multimillion-dollar contracts with advisers of Russian President Vladimir Putin (WNYC News has done a recapitulative of Manafort's business, which can be detailed here). Manafort would have bought property in New York without a mortgage, using fictitious companies, has been aided by Trump's advisory banks (for up to $ 16 million) and has also been investigated for money laundering in Cyprus, "one popular destination for Russian money, "according to The Atlantic.

Manafort, as well as Kusher and Trump Jr., have been asked to hand over all documents they hold relating to the case, to which individuals have agreed, according to their legal counsel.

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