President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has been slated to testify in a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee. Donald Trump Jr. has become a prominent figure in the congressional and federal investigations into whether Trump campaign associates colluded with Russian officials to subvert the 2016 election.
On Nov. 29, sources familiar with the Intelligence Committee disclosed that Donald Trump Jr. would take questions from the panel behind closed doors on Dec. 6. The testimony will mark the first time Donald Trump Jr. is formally questioned by Congress for his communications with Russian officials and the hacktivist website WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential race, CNN reports.
The Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, stated that his committee would also interview Donald Trump Jr. in December but offered no specific date. The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said that he had not yet scheduled a meeting with the president's son.
In June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya on the promise that she could provide damaging information about Donald Trump's Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rob Goldstone, a publicist who helped arrange the meeting, implied during an email exchange with Donald Trump Jr. that Veselnitskaya's information had been procured by the Russian government to help aid the Trump campaign, according to The New York Times.
Trump Jr. met with Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in Manhattan. He later said he ended the meeting after it became clear the Russian attorney did not have information related to Clinton and instead wanted to discuss the Magnitsky Act.
Four participants in the meeting have already been interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee. They include White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, translator Antaoli Samorchornov, lobbyist Rinat Akmetshin and businessman Ike Kaveladze, ABC News reports.
On Nov. 13, The Atlantic obtained a series of private Twitter messages between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The correspondence indicated that Assange had offered a series of suggestions to the Trump campaign. Throughout the final month of the 2016 presidential race, Assange's website published a series of documents from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which U.S. intelligence believes were hacked and stolen by Russian operatives.
Trump Jr. has denied any wrongdoing. On Nov. 13, he blasted the report on his communications with Assange on his Instagram and wrote "Keep coming at me guys!!!"