SUBPOENAED: TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER PAUL MANAFORT CALLED TO TESTIFY IN RUSSIA PROBE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has been subpoenaed to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, scheduled for Wednesday.

The unexpected legal maneuver came after officials say members of the committee could not coerce Manafort into a private Q&A with investigators.

“While we were willing to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request to cooperate with the committee’s investigation without appearing at Wednesday’s hearing, we were unable to reach an agreement for a voluntary transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee,” Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a joint statement released on Tuesday.

The Judiciary Committee initially said it would not subpoena Mr Manafort, as he had agreed to negotiate a private meeting. But negotiations quickly broke down when Manafort pulled back and agreed only to a single, transcribed interview to Congress that would not be made available to the Judiciary Committee.

“We need answers. That’s why the Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for Paul Manafort,” Ms Feinstein tweeted on Tuesday.

The subpoena comes after both Manafort and the president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., were called to give testimony on what, if any, information they have in regard to Russian efforts to sway the outcome of the 2016 election.

Likely a topic of great interest to lawmakers will be the attendance by the pair at a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and her associates, who reports say offered to help provide “dirt” on then political rival Hillary Clinton. Manafort attended the meeting along with Trump Jr. and Trump, Sr.’s son in law, Jared Kushner, who said he left in the middle of the meeting. The threesome admit to attending the meeting but say it was counterproductive and that no useful information was obtained.

According to Manafort’s attorney, Jason Maloni, Manafort spoke to investigators for the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning to avoid another subpoena, but the subpoena issued by the Judiciary Committee still stands.

“Paul Manafort met this morning, by previous agreement, with the bipartisan staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee and answered their questions fully,” Maloni said.

For his part, the president took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to call the probe into his staff a “witch hunt”.

“Jared Kushner did very well yesterday in proving he did not collude with the Russians,” Trump wrote on Twitter in regard to Kushner’s testimony before the investigative panel. “Witch Hunt. Next up, 11 year old Barron Trump!”

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‘WASTE OF OUR TIME’: A DEFIANT JARED KUSHNER DENIES COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA IN RESPONSE TO CONGRESSIONAL PROBE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jared Kushner on Monday denied colluding with Russian officials to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and called a congressional probe into his potential involvement in the matter a “waste of our time”.

President Trump’s son-in-law, who also serves as an advisor in the Trump administration, slammed allegations of wrongdoing in a statement released Monday morning as he met with congressional investigators.

“I am voluntarily providing this statement, submitting documents, and sitting for interviews in order to shed light on issues that have been raised about my role in the Trump for President Campaign and during the transition period,” the statement reads.

“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” the statement continues. “I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form [security clearance], above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest.”

In his statement Kushner also provides specific details in regard to contacts he had with Russian officials during the course of the 2016 election and post-election transition:

“With respect to my contacts with Russia or Russian representatives during the campaign, there were hardly any. The first that I can recall was at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. in April 2016. This was when then candidate Trump was delivering a major foreign policy speech. Doing the event and speech had been my idea, and I oversaw its execution,” the statement reads.

“I arrived at the hotel early to make sure all logistics were in order. After that, I stopped into the reception to thank the host of the event, Dimitri Simes, the publisher of the bi-monthly foreign policy magazine, The National Interest, who had done a great job putting everything together. Mr. Simes and his group had created the guest list and extended the invitations for the event. He introduced me to several guests, among them four ambassadors, including Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. With all the ambassadors, including Mr. Kislyak, we shook hands, exchanged brief pleasantries and I thanked them for attending the event and said I hoped they would like candidate Trump’s speech and his ideas for a fresh approach to America’s foreign policy,” the statement continues.

“The ambassadors also expressed interest in creating a positive relationship should we win the election. Each exchange lasted less than a minute; some gave me their business cards and invited me to lunch at their embassies. I never took them up on any of these invitations and that was the extent of the interactions. Reuters news service has reported that I had two calls with Ambassador Kislyak at some time between April and November of 2016. While I participated in thousands of calls during this period, I do not recall any such calls with the Russian Ambassador. We have reviewed the phone records available to us and have not been able to identify any calls to any number we know to be associated with Ambassador Kislyak and I am highly skeptical these calls took place. A comprehensive review of my land line and cell phone records from the time does not reveal those calls. I had no ongoing relationship with the Ambassador before the election, and had limited knowledge about him then.”

Kushner is being grilled on what, if any, involvement he had in regard to Russian intereferance in the 2016 election in a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. A second meeting is expected to occur on Tuesday with the House Intelligence Committee.

His appearance before the committees marks a turning point in the investigations of Russian meddling, as he is the first of the president’s closest advisers to appear before them.

You can read Jared Kushner’s full statement by clicking on the link below:
https://app.box.com/embed/preview/4c3lig06934ua4hg2dayn5kj7vrxr6f3?direction=ASC&theme=dark

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DON COMES CLEAN: TRUMP JR RELEASES FULL TRANSCRIPT OF EMAIL INTERACTION WITH RUSSIAN LAWYER WHO SOUGHT TO STOP HILLARY

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Donald Trump, Jr on Tuesday released what he claimed was the entire email thread between himself and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on his father’s then presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr., who on Sunday admitted to meeting with the lawyer in the Spring of 2016, released the chain of emails via social media on Tuesday morning.

The correspondence (https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/884789418455953413/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2F2017%2F07%2F11%2Fread-donald-trump-jr-s-emails-on-russia-attorney-meeting.html), seemingly between Jr and publicist Rob Goldstone, documents an apparent offer to provide information that would “incriminate” now President Trump’s then Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

“The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” an email reportedly from Goldstone and the first in the chain released by Donald Trump, Jr. reads. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin.”

During his initial disclosure on Sunday, Trump Jr. claimed that he first met “Emin” while working to organize the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia. She was later identified as Emin Agalarov, a member of the Russian elite whose billionaire father, Aras Agalarov, has reported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replies.

According to the emails released, Goldstone scheduled a June 9 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is later identified in the emails as “The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow.” The meeting was also attended by then candidate Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, who he, as president, went on to appoint as senior aide.

Despite the effort the meeting turned out to be a waste of time, according to Trump Jr, who denied any wrongdoing in a separate statement released on Tuesday. According to the younger Trump, no usable information was obtained and the results of the meeting were not even worth mentioning to his father, who he claims had no knowledge of the event.

“The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research,” Trump Jr. said in the statement. “I first wanted to just have a phone call but when they didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting…As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was ‘the most insane nonsense I ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.'”

Although Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, who have both denied any wrongdoing, have backed Trump, Jr’s version of last summer’s events, the revelations have bolstered Democrats’ efforts to call for the president’s impeachment.

“There’s no escaping it: the Trump Campaign’s inner circle met with an agent of a hostile foreign power to influence the outcome of an American election,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D)-CA said in statement on Tuesday. “The American people face a White House riddled with shadowy Russian connections and desperate to hide the truth.”

In a statement on Twitter, The New York Times claimed Trump, Jr. released the email chain only after being advised that the Times had obtained a copy of the communications and were planning to release it to the press (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/11/us/politics/document-Donaldtrumpjr.html).

Trump, Jr. claims the release was done as part of an effort to prove that he had nothing to hide.

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