Congressional Russia investigations: A look at where they stand

A look at where the various inquiries stand.

ByBy Ali Rogin
July 14, 2017, 4:36 PM

— -- This week’s revelations about Donald Trump Jr.’s emails and meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, which the latter allegedly secured by having an interlocutor float the promise of incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, brought a renewed public focus on the congressional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Here’s a look at where those inquiries stand:

House Intelligence Committee

The House panel is interviewing former Donald Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo behind closed doors today, a meeting that was scheduled weeks ago. Caputo has also been in touch with the FBI.

Meanwhile, Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign’s digital media director and now part of the pro-Trump super PAC America First Strategies, also announced Friday that he would testify before the committee but insisted that he was unaware of any Russian involvement in his operations during the campaign.

In terms of the Trump Jr. news, Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., earlier this week called his contacts with Russians “very significant and deeply disturbing” and renewed his calls to speak to everyone connected to the meeting. The chairman, Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said repeatedly during a press scrum Wednesday, “We’ll pursue the leads that need to be pursued.”

Senate Intelligence Committee

Staff on the Senate panel, led by Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Ranking Member Mark Warner, D-Va., began interviewing Trump officials this week. Warner said Thursday that the committee submitted requests to Trump Jr. for documents and to speak with the panel as recently as this week.

The committee is also planning on speaking with Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was also in the Trump Jr. meeting and who has already volunteered to testify, according to a senior Trump administration official. The Senate panel also plans to hold confirmation hearings for top administration intelligence and national security positions Wednesday, during which the Russia investigation is sure to be a focus.

Senate Judiciary Committee

This panel has held several hearings related to Russian interference from a law enforcement perspective, and is talking to and making document requests of Trump officials in addition to the two intelligence committees, according to committee officials.

Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has said he wants to talk to Paul Manafort, another attendee at the Trump Jr. meeting, to testify on the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which Manafort ran afoul of when he failed to register himself after working for Ukrainian political entities. But Grassley also noted that he would likely ask him about the meeting with Veselnitskaya, too.

Grassley has also said he wants Trump Jr. to testify, although it’s not clear whether he has sent letters requesting testimony from either man or whether these meetings would take place in the open or behind closed doors.

The committee also held its confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's nominee for FBI director, Christopher Wray, this week, during which Wray said the Russian offer to Trump Jr. was “the kind of thing that the FBI would want to know about.”

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