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Trump's son, close associates to appear before Senate

Donald Trump Jr, along with his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, are scheduled to testify publicly before Congress on 26 July

20 July 2017, 8:16am
Donald Trump Jr and Paul Manafort will testify before the Senate judiciary committee on 26 July
Donald Trump Jr and Paul Manafort will testify before the Senate judiciary committee on 26 July
President Donald Trump's son Donald Trump Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort have been asked to appear before US Senate committees next week to answer questions about the campaign's alleged connections to Russia, officials said on Wednesday.

The three men are the closest associates of the president to be called to speak to lawmakers involved in probing Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Trump, who came into office in January, has been dogged by allegations that his campaign officials were connected to Russia, which US intelligence agencies have accused of interfering in last year's election.

Trump has denied any collusion.

The US Senate Judiciary Committee said on Wednesday that it had called Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and Manafort to testify on 26 July at a hearing, entitled Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Attempts to Influence US Elections: Lessons Learned from Current and Prior Administrations.

Their testimony comes less than two weeks after it was revealed that the two, along with Jared Kushner, a top White House aide and Trump’s son-in-law, met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in 2016 who offered Trump Jr negative information about Hillary Clinton. Kushner is expected to testify in a closed session before the Senate intelligence committee on 24 July.

"Working with and being responsive to the schedules of the committees, we have arranged Mr. Kushner's interview with the Senate for July 24," Kushner's attorney, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement. "He will continue to cooperate and appreciates the opportunity to assist in putting this matter to rest."

A special counsel, Robert Mueller, is also conducting an investigation of Russian meddling in the US election and any collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign.

The issue has overshadowed Trump's tenure in office and irritated the president, who told the New York Times on Wednesday that he would not have appointed ally and former Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from oversight of the Russia probe.

“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said in the interview.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, said the committee's hearing would enable the panel to begin to get testimony under oath.