Grassley wants Trump Jr. - Russia interviews released

Grassley wants Trump Jr. - Russia interviews released

The Senate Judiciary Committee is finishing its investigation into a June 2016 meeting between Russians and President Donald Trump's campaign, and the Republican chairman of that panel says he wants to release transcripts from closed-door interviews with Trump's son and others.

"I had hoped to speak with all the witnesses surrounding the Trump Tower meeting before releasing any of those interview transcripts", Grassley said.

Trump Jr. had told investigators he had set up the meeting because Veselnitskaya might have had damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, his father's opponent.

However, Trump Jr. said the conversation with Veselnitskaya was focused exclusively on the issue of United States nationals adopting Russian children.

The President's son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort also attended the meeting.

Grassley said he hoped to be able to review a transcript from Kushner's interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee last July, since the Judiciary panel wouldn't be able to interview him.

Trump Jr. has denied allegations of collusion.

Thus, all of the committee's interviews "are complete", said Grassley.

The Senate Judiciary Committee "has access to the same information that the House intelligence committee saw before drafting its summary memo", said.

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The announcement comes amid increasing rancour in Congress over the investigations of the intelligence community's finding that Russian Federation had sought to interfere in the 2016 election to boost Mr Trump. "So, now it's time to start releasing the transcripts of all witness interviews we have done related to that meeting".

It was later reported by several media outlets that President Trump has personally dictated the first misleading statement, claiming the meeting was to do with adoptions. "I think that's very helpful."Some Democrats on the committee felt that Grassley did not go far enough."I strongly support this step, but it must be followed by testimony in public and under oath by these witnesses and others", Sen".

Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, Calif., said Thursday she was "delighted" by Grassley's intentions.

The Des Moines Register reports Chairman Grassley said Friday that he had referred former British spy Christopher Steele to the Justice Department for investigation about false statements he may have made to the government. Grassley said Thursday that he had hoped to interview Kushner, but the chances of that interview were "shot" after Feinstein unilaterally released a transcript from another interview conducted as part of the committee's Russian Federation investigation earlier this month.

Feinstein said they also should be turned over to Mueller.

Democrats, in turn, accuse Republicans of conducting a smear campaign meant to protect Trump by discrediting Mueller's investigation.

House Republicans are also running into classification roadblocks while trying to make public their own four-page memo, put together by Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, summarizing results of a Republican staff investigation into abuses by the and in the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"What began as an attempt to discredit the investigator has now devolved into delusional, self-serving paranoia", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. Republicans have said the memo alleges Federal Bureau of Investigation misconduct and some have argued that the public should see it.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Mr Grassley and Mrs Feinstein Why is Trump Tower meeting significant?

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