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Manafort, Trump Jr. to Be Interviewed, Won't Testify at Senate Hearing

President Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Paul Manafort will be interviewed by Judiciary Committee staff but won't appear at a hearing.
Image: Donald Trump Jr. listens to a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention
Donald Trump Jr. listens to a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.John Moore / Getty Images file

President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and former campaign manager Paul Manafort have agreed to be interviewed by staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee but will not appear at a public hearing next week, the committee said Friday.

The Judiciary Committee had requested that both appear at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, and threatened to issue subpoenas if they refused.

On Friday the Judiciary Committee said "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."

"Therefore, we will not issue subpoenas for them tonight requiring their presence at Wednesday’s hearing but reserve the right to do so in the future," the committee said.

Questions have been raised about a meeting involving Trump Jr. and Manafort and a Russian attorney and others in June of 2016, which emails released by Trump Jr. show was pitched with the promise of damaging information against Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. has said that no information was provided, and much of the meeting involved discussions of a adoption program of Russian children that had been discontinued by Moscow.

In the email exchange released by Trump Jr. last week as The New York Times prepared to publish the contents of the messages, music publicist Rob Goldstone wrote: "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

Critics have seized on the meeting and charged that it showed Trump Jr. was willing to accept help from someone purporting to have information connected to the Russian government to help his father's presidential campaign.

On July 10, Trump Jr. said on Twitter: "Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know."

Also at the meeting was President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Kushner has agreed to be interviewed by the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session on Monday, his attorney said this week.

Also Friday, the House Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, said it will interview Kushner on Tuesday.

Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell said this week that Kushner "has been and is prepared to voluntarily cooperate and provide whatever information he has on the investigations to Congress."