Manafort Spox Mostly Tight-Lipped After Testifying To Mueller Grand Jury

Federal court in Washington, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP

WASHINGTON – More than two hours after Jason Maloni, Paul Manafort’s spokesperson, was spotted heading into the federal courthouse to testify in front of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury, he emerged from the room where grand jury was convened around 11:30 a.m. ET and spoke briefly to the press.

“My name is Jason Maloni. I’m the president of JadeRoq. I was order to appear today before the grand jury. I answered questions and I’ve been dismissed,” Maloni, who was accompanied by his attorney Erik Bolog, said.

He declined to answer any questions, but was generally upbeat when he encountered the handful of reporters huddled outside the grand jury room. He made his brief remark outside of the courthouse where photographers and TV crew also waited.

Maloni had been subpoenaed by the Mueller probe late last month, in a sign of increasing scrutiny on Manafort, who served as President Trump’s campaign chairman in the summer of 2016. In July, Manafort’s home was raided in the early morning hours by FBI agents, who reportedly obtained documents related to Manafort’s business dealings around the world.

Manafort’s former attorney, Melissa Laurenza, has also reportedly been subpoenaed by the probe, but it is unclear if and when she will appear in front of the grand jury.

Beyond the Mueller probe, Manafort has also become a subject of focus for the other bodies investigating Russia’s influence in the 2016 election. He appeared in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors in July, and the Senate Judiciary Committe is also seeking to interview him, though its chair, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has said he is having trouble getting cooperation from Manafort’s legal team.