Grassley calls for release of transcripts from interviews linked to Trump Tower meeting

Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is calling for the Senate Judiciary Committee to publicly release the transcripts of interviews related to the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.

Grassley, the chairman of the committee, said Thursday that he believes the committee’s interviews related to the meeting are “complete,” and so the completed witness interviews should be made public.

“I have said all along that I favor as much transparency as possible in our investigations, but at the appropriate time, so we don’t undermine our work,” he said, according to NBC News.

The  2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and a group of Russians, including a Russian lawyer who reportedly promised Trump Jr. dirt on Hillary Clinton, has been a focus of the investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to win the election. It was this meeting that former chief strategist Stephen Bannon called “treasonous” in a new book about the Trump presidency. Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort also attended the meeting. 

He said that he had hoped to speak with all of the witnesses involved in the meeting before releasing the transcripts, but that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) decision earlier this year to unilaterally release the transcript from the interview with Glenn Simpson has “spooked” other witnesses.

{mosads}Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the controversial dossier linking Trump to Russia, interviewed with the Senate Judiciary Committee about the dossier last year. Feinstein published the transcript in January, prompting backlash from Grassley, who opposed releasing the transcript and said that the move would compromise the panel’s ability to conduct its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Grassley said it is now unlikely the committee will have a voluntary interview with Kushner, and will have to instead review Kushner’s interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee, as it did with Manafort’s interview.

Feinstein is a member of both the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

“Sen. Feinstein has access to the transcript as a member of that committee, and I hope to be able to arrange to review it as well, as I have done with their interview of Mr. Manafort,” Grassley said.

Grassley said that he hopes to forge an agreement with the committee’s ranking member or agree to release the transcripts through a committee vote.

“Let’s get them out there for everyone to see,” he said.

Tags Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley Dianne Feinstein Dianne Feinstein Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Hillary Clinton Jared Kushner Paul Manafort Paul Manafort Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Senate Judiciary Committee

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