Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Thursday he wants to release the transcripts of interviews with witnesses questioned about the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.
During opening remarks at the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, Grassley said the committee has finished interviewing witnesses about the Trump Tower meeting, which Donald Trump Jr. attended with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Also present were then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
“That section of the investigation is done,” Grassley said. “So, now it’s time to start officially releasing the transcripts of all witness interviews we have done related to that meeting.”
“Let’s get them out there for everyone to see,” Grassley continued.
The Iowa Republican didn’t provide a date for when the transcripts would be released, but did say he’d like to “work on getting that done as soon as possible.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, told Grassley she was “delighted” to hear his remarks and wouldn’t have any disagreement with releasing the transcripts.
“I’m very grateful for your decision to proceed,” she said. “I think that’s very helpful.”
The committee interviewed Trump Jr. about the meeting, as well as meeting participants Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, businessman Ike Kaveladze, British publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting, and translator Anatoli Samochornov.
Feinstein unilaterally released a transcript from Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the committee, a move that sparked criticism from some Republicans.
Grassley said the release of the transcript from Simpson’s interview “spooked” other possible witnesses and because of that, he believes the chances of the Senate Judiciary Committee sitting down with Kushner for a voluntary interview are “shot.”
Kushner has already testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
On Wednesday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., called for Grassley to give special counsel Robert Mueller the transcripts of the committee’s interview with Trump Jr. and, said the transcripts “may reveal other, and better-founded, concerns about witness false statements.”
A spokesman for Grassley told Politico on Wednesday the Iowa Republican “has long been committed to transparency,” and “wants to release as much as possible, including transcripts.”