Senate

Judiciary Dems want public hearings with Kushner, Trump Jr.

Greg Nash

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pressing Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to schedule public hearings with Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. 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.

{mosads}In addition to Blumenthal, the letter included Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (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 Clinton.

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 Graham (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 Comey’s firing late last year.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Christopher Coons Chuck Grassley Cory Booker Dick Durbin Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Hillary Clinton James Comey Jared Kushner Kamala Harris Lindsey Graham Mazie Hirono Patrick Leahy Sheldon Whitehouse

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