Trump Jr., Manafort Set to Testify Before Senate

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump’s eldest son, former campaign manager and son-in-law and adviser will appear before Senate committees next week as part of their probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Donald Trump Jr. and campaign manager Paul Manafort to testify July 26 in an open hearing on foreign influence in U.S. elections, while son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has agreed to testify behind closed doors before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on July 24.

Though their names are listed as witnesses, it is unclear whether the president’s son and Manafort will agree to testify at the 10 a.m. hearing. However, on Wednesday the Judiciary Committee sent both a letter asking for records related to their efforts to obtain information about Hillary Clinton from Russian-affiliated or Russian government sources.

The letter also asked them to preserve any such records, confirm they had done so by August 2, and to describe the nature of any preserved documents and begin producing them.

Trump Jr. and Manafort drew the committee’s interest after recent revelations that Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 19 in Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya was described in an email as a “Russian government attorney.”

Veselnitskaya, an attorney with the company Prevezon, denied during an interview with NBC News that she ever had dirt on Clinton that she intended to hand over.

Trump Jr. initially stated that Veselnitskaya had no information, and had quickly changed the subject to the 2012 Magnitsky Act which slapped human-rights sanctions on Russia. Russia responded to the act by banning Americans from adopting Russian children.

However, Trump Jr. released the email chain amid a series of reports from The New York Times about the meeting which revealed he was told Veselnitskaya had “very high level and sensitive information” damaging to Clinton as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Both Manafort and Kushner attended the meeting with Trump Jr.

The committees will likely grill all three about their meeting with Veselnitskaya and other contacts they and Trump surrogates had with Russian officials during the campaign.

Trump Jr. and Manafort are scheduled to appear alongside Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the research firm responsible for the dossier that described details that have not been verified about Trump’s dealings in Russia, and William Browder of Heritage Capital Management, who urged lawmakers to pass the Magnitsky Act.

 

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