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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Russia probe nears White House as key Trump aides called to testify

The president’s son, son-in-law and former campaign manager have been asked to attend Senate hearings on Monday and Wednesday next week

Jared Kushner has been called to give evidence before a Senate committee on Monday
Jared Kushner has been called to give evidence before a Senate committee on Monday

Next week will see investigations into alleged collusion between the current White House’s top team and Russia move closer to Donald Trump, as his son, son-in-law and former campaign manager are called to give evidence to two Senate committees.

Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, and is seen as an éminence grise within the administration, will give evidence to a closed hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, according to ABC News.

“As Mr. Kushner has been saying since March, he has been and is prepared to voluntarily cooperate and provide whatever information he has on the investigations to Congress," Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell told the American TV network..

"Working with and being responsive to the schedules of the committees, we have arranged Mr. Kushner's interview with the Senate for July 24. He will continue to cooperate and appreciates the opportunity to assist in putting this matter to rest.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son who released emails last week that revealed contacts between him and a Russian lawyer known to work with the Kremlin who was offering to dish dirt on the 2016 Democratic contender Hillary Clinton, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee two days later on Wednesday.

He will be joined by Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, who will give testimony in front of the same body in connection with oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and “attempts to influence US elections.”

All three attended the meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and intermediaries which has become the focus of the roiling controversy over Trump campaign ties to Russia.

Veselnitskaya, as well as a Russian-American lobbyist in the room, maintain that they were working to lift sanctions imposed on Moscow over human rights violations.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has said that there is nothing to show that the meeting was not about US adoptions of Russian children, banned by Moscow in 2012 in retaliation for the human rights sanctions, but conflicting versions of the meeting have emerged over the last week.