Trump's Russia Nightmares Are Coming True As Senate Subpoenas Paul Manafort To Testify
29 July, 2017, 03:47
Kushner had two testimonies scheduled this week - one with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, another with the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday - both of which would happen in private.
Republican congressman Mike Conaway of Texas, leading the panel's Russian Federation probe, said he found Mr Kushner to be "straightforward, forthcoming, wanted to answer every question we had".
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort belatedly registered in June with the Justice Department for political consulting work he did for a Ukrainian political party before joining the Republican candidate's presidential bid.
Donald Trump Jr.is set to testify on Wednesday before the congressional panels investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians during the 2016 election.
Behind the scenes, a sort of witness tug of war has developed between the Senate judiciary committee and the Senate intelligence committee, as well as the House committees running their own investigations.
That has been the focus of two of the Russian advocates who took part in the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016: attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin.
While the absence of Trump and Manafort created a void at the much-anticipated hearing, senators on the Judiciary Committee criticized the Justice Department for its enforcement of FARA, calling it unequal and ineffective.
A spokesman for Manafort said later Tuesday morning that Manfort met with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier in the day and "answered their questions fully".
Congressman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said the interview was "productive" and Kushner was receptive to answering additional questions.
Those witnesses said they agreed - but they arranged with the committee to do so in private as opposed to under the TV lights. Those meetings haven't been scheduled.
"Let me be very clear", Kushner said later in a rare public statement at the White House, "I did not collude with Russian Federation, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so".
Kushner called the meeting with Veselnitskaya such a "waste of time" that he asked his assistant to call him out of the gathering.
Still, Manafort committed to future meetings with Intelligence staff and members "to address the many other areas of inquiry of interest to the committee", according to the source familiar with the negotiations.
The witnesses are three officials from the Justice Department and the FBI, including one - Assistant FBI Director Bill Priestap, who has already appeared in at least one hearing in the Russian Federation imbroglio.
Kushner said this meeting involved Kislyak and Michael Flynn, who would later become Trump's national security adviser, and lasted between 20 minutes and a half-hour. He said he arrived late, heard discussion about Moscow's ban on Americans adopting Russian children and concluded that the meeting was such a "waste of time" that he quickly looked for a way out.
The scrutiny has angered and frustrated the president, who calls the investigations a politically motivated witch hunt fueled by Democrats who can not accept his upset win in last November's election.
In his statement, Kushner denied media reports that said he discussed with Kislyak a secret back-channel for communications.
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