The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon release the transcript of its interview with Donald Trump Jr. as well as other witness testimony related to a controversial 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Thursday.
Grassley's comments Thursday come the day after two Democrats on the committee publicly pressed for the release of the panel's closed-door interview transcripts to special counsel Robert Mueller. Even as partisan disputes roil the House's Russia investigation, Grassley's alignment with Democrats on releasing the transcripts signals that the Senate — for now, at least — remains in a more collaborative mode.
The committee is finished with work related to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, attended by President Donald Trump's eldest son and his son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Grassley said. "So, now it’s time to start releasing the transcripts of all witness interviews we have done related to that meeting. Let’s get them out there for everyone to see."
In addition to Trump Jr., who sat for an interview in September, the committee also has received written responses from Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who said the Trump team pressed her for negative information about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 meeting.
The Judiciary Committee has not yet met with Kushner, however, and on Thursday Grassley reiterated his previous concerns that "our chances of getting a voluntary interview with Mr. Kushner have been shot." Grassley blamed that on the decision earlier this month by the committee's top Democrat, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to unilaterally release another interview transcript: that of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, whose firm commissioned a private intelligence dossier alleging that Russia may have obtained compromising material about Trump.
The Judiciary panel will work on getting access to the Senate intelligence committee's March interview with Kushner, Grassley said.
Grassley said Thursday that if he and Feinstein could not reach an agreement on the release of the Trump Jr. transcript and other witness testimony related to the Trump Tower meeting, the issue might get resolved through a committee vote. Regardless, he said, "I’d like to work on getting that done as soon as possible."