Political News

Hill investigators leave door open for Trump Jr., others' public hearings

Posted July 18

Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort could be en route to the Senate for public hearings into their June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, the leader of one the congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the election told CNN.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said Tuesday that he wants Trump Jr. to testify about a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer -- with at least part of the testimony in public.

"I think that there's a lot to learn from that," the North Carolina Republican told CNN. "And we've reached out to the appropriate people and asked them to provide information for us and to testify, possibly publicly, but it's too early in that to draw any conclusions, but our job is to put the facts on the table and follow wherever it goes."

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee, said Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller had signed off on the committee's request to interview Manafort and Trump Jr. in public.

"He has transcribed back that he doesn't have a problem with our seeking public testimony of any of these people," Feinstein told reporters.

An additional Senate source said that Mueller has also approved the Senate judiciary committee's plans to interview Glenn Simpson -- the head of Fusion GPS, which crafted the Russia dossier with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

In June 2016, the President's eldest son agreed to meet with someone described as a "Russian government attorney" after receiving an email offering him "very high level and sensitive information" that would "incriminate" Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to emails Trump Jr. publicly released last week.

The interest in Trump Jr. and Manafort builds on already intensive congressional investigations. The Senate intelligence committee plans to interview former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough. Meanwhile, the House intelligence committee is working to bring in former US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said last week that his committee would also seek additional documents from Manafort and President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner about the June 2016 meeting.

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