Trump Jr. to speak privately Thursday to Senate staff

President Donald Trump’s oldest son was expected to meet privately on Thursday with a Senate committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, several senators said.

Donald Trump Jr.’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee would probably focus on a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer and others during the final stretches of last year’s campaign. Emails released in July show that Trump Jr. was told the session at Trump Tower in New York was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father, the Republican nominee.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating that meeting, also attended by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. A grand jury has heard testimony about it.

Trump Jr. has also agreed to appear in the coming weeks before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own investigation.

Separately, former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, was meeting on Wednesday with the House Intelligence Committee, according to a person familiar with the interview. This person wasn’t authorized to discuss the committee’s confidential work and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

That committee has subpoenaed the Justice Department and the FBI for documents related to a dossier of salacious allegations involving Trump and possible ties to Russia.

As for Donald Trump Jr., some Democratic senators said they planned to attend his session though tradition dictates that senators cannot ask questions at such interviews conducted by committee staff.

Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said they would be there. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., was considering it.

“I go in with an open mind,” Durbin said. “I want to hear his answers to questions — there are plenty of questions — about the involvement of the Trump corporation as well as the Trump campaign with the Russians and other foreigners, and I just want to hear what Mr. Trump has to say.”

Durbin said he would be “shocked” if questions weren’t asked about whether the elder Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting.

“The critical part of his testimony will be following the financial dealing,” Blumenthal said. He said he also wants to find out what Trump Jr. may know about potential obstruction of justice, adding there may have been conversations between the two about the firing of FBI Director James Comey and other matters.

Blumenthal and Coons said…

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