Judiciary Dems want public hearings with Kushner, Trump Jr.
© Greg Nash

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pressing Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyColorado governor, spouse test positive for COVID-19 McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Iowa) to schedule public hearings with Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Pompeo becomes first top US diplomat to visit Israeli settlement, labels boycotts anti-Semitic NYT's Bruni suggests Ivanka Trump, Kushner move to North Korea or Saudi Arabia MORE and Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpMost Republicans in new poll say they'd vote for Trump in 2024 President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Trump has not prepared a concession speech: report MORE as part of their probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Democrats sent a letter, spearheaded by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), to Grassley requesting the hearings and asking that he issue subpoenas if they won't volunteer to testify publicly and under oath. 

“This is an essential step toward getting us the answers that we need to fulfill our important oversight responsibilities," the senators wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition to Blumenthal, the letter included Democratic Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Durbin seeks to become top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary panel Feinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee MORE (Vt.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee MORE (Ill.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee MORE (R.I.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (Minn.), Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Biden rolls out national security team Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks MORE (Del.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (Hawaii), Cory BookerCory BookerDangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs MORE (N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Biden's political position is tougher than Trump's MORE (Calif.). 

Senators have honed in on Kushner and Trump Jr. over a June 2016 meeting they had at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who had offered dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGroups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffs Biden's political position is tougher than Trump's Valadao unseats Cox in election rematch MORE.

Trump Jr. has said the meeting ended up being about Russian adoption policy and was a waste of time.

Democrats said Grassley has already concluded private interviews of individuals in the meeting, bolstering the need to pivot to public hearings. 

Trump Jr. previously met with committee staffers.

"Committee members have long been led to believe that they would have the chance to question witnesses directly — to follow up on the many questions raised by the staff interviews and to ensure that witnesses testify publicly and under oath," the senators wrote. 

The letter comes as the Judiciary Committee's Russia probe has become increasingly fractured. 

Grassley and GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Let's give thanks to Republican defenders of democracy MORE (S.C.) were heavily criticized by Democrats for asking the Justice Department to investigate whether Christopher Steele, who compiled a controversial research dossier on Trump, lied to the FBI.

Democrats on the panel launched their own probe focused on potential collusion and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCarter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe Top Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon The new marshmallow media in the Biden era MORE's firing late last year.