Testimony from President Donald Trump's former campaign manager is "long overdue" as the controversy grows over the campaign's ties to Russia, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Wednesday.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that he would be calling Paul Manafort, a Connecticut native, to testify.
“Requiring Paul Manafort to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee – in public and under oath – is a long overdue act of oversight. Mr. Manafort must answer questions about his deeply disturbing – and possibly criminal – conduct throughout the campaign, including recent revelations that he joined a meeting with President Trump’s son and a Russian agent to seek ‘dirt’ on Hilary Clinton. My hope is that he will be joined by others like Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner who may have knowledge of possible illegality,” Blumenthal said.
“Separately, I have called for a review of Jared Kushner’s security clearance, which is even more necessary now. No one who is suspected of colluding with foreign agents to interfere in our democratic processes should have access to our national security secrets.”
Reports this week revealed that Manafort was present at a meeting convened by President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
The meeting’s stated purpose, revealed in emails released by Donald Trump Jr., was to discuss damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.
“If he comes before our committee — and we’ll subpoena him if necessary — then … obviously it’d be appropriate for anybody to get into anything that went on at that meeting, since he was at that meeting,” Grassley said of Manafort.
Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior White House official, also attended the meeting with Veselnitskaya.
Blumenthal previously requested a review of Kushner’s security clearance following revelations that Kushner had contacts with Russian officials that were undisclosed during his clearance review process and sought to establish a secretive communications channel to the Russian government during the presidential transition.
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