OversightandReform / Flickr Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa...
OversightandReform / Flickr

When we last caught up with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, he was bucking Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and working with Democrats to pass legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s Russia ties. That’s despite McConnell’s refusal to bring the bill to the floor.

Now (and it’s unclear precisely why), Grassley is anxious to release the transcripts of interviews his committee had with Donald Trump Jr. and other participants in that infamous Trump Tower meeting that was not about Russian adoption.

“I don’t understand the process of redaction, I’m not an authority in that, and I think you have to have people who are an authority in it,” Grassley said in a Tuesday interview. “But we ought to get the redactions done and get them out.”

Aside from Trump Jr., the committee anticipates releasing written responses from Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower alongside the president’s eldest son, son-in-law Jared Kushner and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. […]

Other attendees of the Trump Tower meeting who sat for closed-door interviews, transcripts of which the Judiciary Committee aims to release, are Russian real estate executive Ike Kaveladze, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, music promoter Rob Goldstone and translator Anatoli Samochorno. Kushner and Manafort did not participate in interviews with the committee.

Apparently ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s staff is working on any further redactions she deems necessary, but she says “I haven’t heard” any updates about the timeline for getting that done. So Grassley could just be needling Feinstein here, or he could be ready to drop a bombshell to help press his case for getting his bill on the floor. Or he could just be being Grassley: unpredictable and irascible. We’ll find out in the next few weeks.

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