By David Morgan
WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. House panel issued a subpoena for testimony to Felix Sater after the Russian-born former business associate of President Donald Trump failed to appear for a scheduled interview on Friday.
Sater did not show up for his scheduled session with the House Intelligence Committee, in line with a pattern of current and former Trump associates stonewalling numerous congressional probes.
“The committee had scheduled a voluntary staff-level interview with Mr. Sater, but he did not show up this morning as agreed,” said committee spokesman Patrick Boland in a statement.
“As a result, the committee is issuing a subpoena to compel his testimony,” Boland said.
Sater’s lawyer blamed his absence on health issues.
“Due to health reasons Mr. Sater was unable to appear today. He looks forward to voluntarily appearing at the next rescheduled date,” lawyer Robert Wolf said in a statement.
A real estate developer, Sater was involved in a plan to build a Trump-branded skyscraper in Moscow. He worked with Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen on the Moscow project while Trump was running for president.
The House of Representatives committee has been trying to interview Sater for months about his work on the Moscow project, which came under renewed scrutiny after Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about when negotiations on the deal ended in order to minimize Trump’s links to Russia.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Susan Heavey in Washington;Nathan Layne in New York. Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, DoinaChiacu and David Gregorio)