Trump Jr. is said to face House panel in Russia probe next week

Billy House, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, will be interviewed behind closed doors next week by the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian election interference.

The day and time aren't set yet, said an official familiar with the committee's scheduling who asked not to be identified discussing the panel's plans.

Neither Rep. Michael Conaway of Texas, the Republican leading the investigation, nor the top committee Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, would comment. The planned interview with Trump Jr. was reported earlier by CNN.

The House panel has been looking into a controversial meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan in June 2016 between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer at the height of the presidential campaign. The meeting had been arranged with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on a pretext of providing the Trump campaign incriminating information about Democrat Hillary Clinton, then-candidate Donald Trump's political opponent.

Among others attending were Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, now a senior White House adviser; Trump's then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin.

On Tuesday, the panel met behind closed doors with Anatoli Samochornov, a translator who attended the meeting.

Trump Jr. has said Veselnitskaya provided no useful information and wasted his time. The Trump campaign has dismissed the meeting as part of a lobbying effort to amend a 2012 law known as the Magnitsky Act that placed sanctions on Russians for human rights abuses. Russia responded by barring adoptions by Americans.


When Samochornov met with the House panel, he said the meeting lasted about 17 minutes and dealt solely with the question of adoptions, as Trump Jr. has maintained, according to the official.

When Trump Jr. appears before the committee, Democrats also may focus on his private message exchanges with the WikiLeaks Twitter account -- at a time that website was publishing hacked Democratic emails -- that they call a known interaction with a Kremlin proxy.

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