Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, joined a letter led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and signed by Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in support of Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein’s, D-California, request for immediate public hearings related to potential collusion between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign.
“Committee members have long been led to believe that they would have the chance to question witnesses directly — to follow up on the many questions raised by the staff interviews and to ensure that witnesses testify publicly and under oath,” the senators wrote. “Any effort to end the committee’s inquiry before committee members have been able to ask a single question — and before a single witness has been questioned in public or under oath — would be a disservice to the Judiciary Committee’s long history of serving as a forum to ferret out the truth and inform the American people.”
The senators identified Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner as two key witnesses whose public testimony is critical to the completion of any meaningful investigation. Although Trump Jr. appeared voluntarily for a private staff interview in 2017, he refused to produce documents relating to the June 9, 2016, meeting he organized with Russian agents while serving on the Trump campaign and his coordinated response with the Trump administration once that meeting became public. Kushner, who also attended the June 9 meeting, has declined to appear before the committee in any capacity and has also failed to produce key documents.
“We respectfully request that the Senate Judiciary Committee immediately schedule public hearings with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and the other key witnesses in our ongoing investigation and, as needed, issue subpoenas to compel their appearances to ensure that these individuals fully account for their actions in public and under oath,” the senators wrote. “This is an essential step toward getting us the answers that we need to fulfill our important oversight responsibilities.”
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2EccHVr.