Week ahead in cyber: Trump Jr., Manafort reach deal to avoid Wednesday hearing

Week ahead in cyber: Trump Jr., Manafort reach deal to avoid Wednesday hearing
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Lawmakers are eager to uncover more details about the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer that has raised new questions about ties between President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS US raises concerns about Iran's seriousness in nuclear talks MORE's campaign and Moscow.

Trump's eldest son and Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, had been summoned to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

The high-profile hearing would have given lawmakers a chance to raise questions about possible coordination between the campaign and Russia's use of cyberattacks and disinformation to influence the election.


Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyNumber of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports Grassley, Cornyn push for Senate border hearing The Hill's Morning Report - GOP pounces on Biden's infrastructure plan MORE (R-Iowa) also threatened to subpoena them if they don't comply with the request.

But on Sunday, the pair reached a deal with the committee to avoid a public hearing this week.

"Both Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, through their attorneys, have agreed to negotiate to provide the committee with documents and be interviewed by committee members and staff prior to a public hearing," Grassley and the panel's top Democrat, Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCaitlyn Jenner exploring bid for California governor: report WokeWorld comes for 'oppressor' Obama: Activists rip school being named after 'deporter in chief' Senators press for answers in Space Command move decision MORE (Calif.) said in a statement.

Scrutiny on Trump Jr. has mounted since it was revealed that he met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 after being promised damaging information on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi planned on retiring until Trump won election: report Pence autobiography coming from Simon & Schuster Amanda Gorman makes the cover of Vogue MORE. It's been learned that eight people took part in the meeting, including Manafort, Trump's son-in-law and now senior adviser Jared Kushner, a Russian pop star, and a Russian lobbyist.

Separately, Kushner is expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed setting on Monday, as part of that panel's investigation into Russia's cyber meddling.

In a statement earlier Monday, Kushner said he "did not collude" with any foreign government.

The week could also bring an appearance by former Obama administration official Samantha PowerSamantha PowerThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden bumps up vaccine eligibility amid 'life or death' race Biden relies on progressive foe to lead immigration rollbacks The Hill's Morning Report - Biden tasks Harris on border; news conference today MORE before the House Intelligence Committee.

The committee recently delayed planned testimony from former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice. Rice reportedly met quietly with the Senate panel on Friday, according to CNN

Power, who served as ambassador to the United Nations, could appear before the committee ahead of the August recess.

All eyes will also be on special counsel Robert Mueller as the Justice Department's own probe into Russian meddling reportedly is turning to look at Trump's business dealings.

Tensions between the president and Mueller heightened in recent days, with Trump telling the New York Times in an interview that the special counsel would be crossing a red line by looking into his finances or those of his family.

Trump's aides and lawyers are now said to be probing for conflicts of interest that could be used to undermine the credibility of Mueller's probe.

The Senate could also vote as soon as the coming week on the confirmation of Christopher Wray, Trump's choice to be FBI director.

Wray, a former Justice Department official, was widely praised during his confirmation hearing earlier this month and unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a vote Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE (R-Ky.) is said to be setting up Wray for a full Senate vote before lawmakers leave for the August recess. If confirmed, Wray will replace James Comey, who Trump fired in May.

Also on Capitol Hill, lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee will examine technology's role in securing the U.S. border during a hearing Tuesday morning. 

Lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on U.S. cyber diplomacy featuring Chris Painter, the State Department's outgoing cyber coordinator.

Painter was thrust into the spotlight in the past week when news broke that he would leave his post at the end of July, after more than six years on the job. Painter's exit was followed by reports that the State Department plans to close the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues and shuffle it under the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, which critics say would scale back the power of the cyber coordinator. 

Outside of Washington, the cybersecurity community will be focused on two major cyber conferences taking place back-to-back in Las Vegas. 

Black Hat's main conference begins Wednesday and is immediately followed by DEF CON, which stretches into the weekend.

The Hill's Joe Uchill will be there to provide the latest on the hacker conferences.


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This story was updated at 8:34 a.m.