Kushner to testify at both intel committees next week; Manafort, Trump Jr to turn over documents to Senate Judiciary panel

White House Senior advisor Jared Kushner is set to speak with the House Intelligence Committee on July 25, 2017.
White House Senior advisor Jared Kushner is set to speak with the House Intelligence Committee on July 25, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill next week to speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday (July 25), one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

The interview, which is also expected to take place behind closed doors, was announced by House Intelligence Committee's ranking Democratic member Adam Schiff, and Republican Representative Mike Conaway, who is running the committee's Russia probe.

Word of the interview came as the Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Friday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the President's son, Donald Trump Jr., had agreed to turn over documents and speak to panel members behind closed doors as part of its ongoing probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The date for their closed-door interviews has not yet been decided.

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Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein still expect Manafort and Trump Jr. to speak to the committee publicly. But because both are cooperating, the panel leaders said in a statement they would not issue subpoenas requiring their presence at Wednesday's hearing, only "reserve the right to do so in the future."

"Both Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort, through their attorneys, have agreed to negotiate and provide the committee with documents and be interviewed by committee members and staff prior to a public hearing," they said in a statement.

The focus on top Trump surrogates indicates the panels' respective probes have entered a new phase of their investigations, as lawmakers seek answers about various meetings with Russian officials. Lawmakers of both parties have focused particular attention on a June 2016 meeting that Kushner, Manafort and Trump, Jr. held in Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who once represented a Russian intelligence unit in a court dispute.

In letters to Trump Jr. and Manafort this week, the Judiciary committee leaders asked them to furnish all documents related to that June 2016 meeting , as well as any communications or records of attempts to obtain information from Russians about Hillary Clinton or the 2016 presidential campaign. Those documents are due to be delivered to the committee by Aug 2.

But Grassley and Feinstein did issue a subpoena on Friday night for Glenn Simpson, the chief executive of Fusion GPS, a firm behind the production of a dossier depicting salacious but unverified details of Donald Trump's experience in Moscow.

Simpson was slated to appear on a panel with Manafort and Trump Jr. on Wednesday, but in a Friday letter from his lawyers, Simpson turned down the committee's invitation, claiming Simpson could not attend "due to long held vacation plans".

They also wrote that they would challenge a subpoena by asserting "applicable privileges. . . under the First and Fifth Amendments".

Grassley has focused acutely on Fusion over the past few months, asking the Justice Department why the research firm has not been required to register as a foreign agent.

Simpson was invited to testify before the judiciary committee this week at a hearing on enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but the hearing was postponed until next Wednesday. Manafort and Trump Jr. were scheduled to appear on a panel with him; their appearance at the hearing is no longer expected.