Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a public hearing next Wednesday, the committee announced. The Senate judiciary committee hearing, entitled “Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections: Lessons Learned from Current and Prior Administrations”, will take place on July 26.
Separately, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed hearing on Monday, July 24 according to ABC News. Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell confirmed the meeting to ABC News. “As Mr. Kushner has been saying since March, he has been and is prepared to voluntarily cooperate and provide whatever information he has on the investigations to Congress,” Lowell said. “Working with and being responsive to the schedules of the committees, we have arranged Mr. Kushner’s interview with the senate for July 24. He will continue to cooperate and appreciates the opportunity to assist in putting this matter to rest.”
Both the open and closed-door sessions set up what could be one of the most highly anticipated interviews for lawmakers to date.
Trump’s eldest son has been under scrutiny for attending a June 2016 meeting with a woman presented as a Russian government lawyer offering damaging information on Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton. The meeting has become a flashpoint in the roiling controversy over the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Manafort was dismissed from Mr Trump’s campaign in August 2016 because of controversy surrounding his work for Viktor Yanukovich, the former president of Ukraine who was overthrown in a US-backed coup.
Democrats say that Trump Jr.’s willingness to accept opposition research portrayed as part of Russia’s support for the president shows a clear intent to collude with the Russian government. The president has fiercely defended his son, insisting that the meeting was mere “politics.”
“Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!” the president tweeted Monday. Eight attendees at the meeting have been publicly identified, including Kushner, Trump Jr. and Manafort; the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and her translator, Anatoli Samochornov; Ike Kaveladze, an American-based representative of a Russian real estate firm; Rob Goldstone, an intermediary who set up the meeting; and Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian-American lobbyist.
As for Trump’s son-in-law, the Senate Intelligence Committee has said since March that Kushner is one of many within the Trump administration it planned to question and Kushner has always maintained a willingness to cooperate. The appearance by Kushner, who has kept a low public profile since joining the administration, marks a new phase in the investigation as one of the president’s closest confidantes is called to answer questions.