Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee want to send transcripts from the committee’s Russia investigation interviews—including “explosive” testimony from Donald Trump Jr.—to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the federal probe into allegations that the president or members of his campaign team colluded with Russian officials and have obstructed justice.
In a letter to committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote: “You have stated publicly that you believe it is important for the special counsel to carry his investigation through to completion and determine the facts,” and “it is hard to see how withholding the transcripts achieves that goal.”
Their request, Politico notes, “reflected the partisan tension in a judiciary committee whose investigation has for months been splintered along party lines,” and has essentially amounted to suggestions that witnesses “may have made false statements to the committee.”
Whitehouse told Politico that senators “need to rethink, if there isn’t going to be a public hearing, why would we not release that transcript? And under any circumstances, why would we not let Bob Mueller have access to it?”
Blumenthal said he believes “all these transcripts should be released,” and noted that Don Jr.’s testimony “will be explosive when it sees the light of day.”
A spokesman for Grassley said the chairman “has long been committed to transparency, and well before this letter from Sens. Whitehouse and Blumenthal, he’s said he wants to release as much as possible, including transcripts,” but added that Grassley “intends to confer with” fellow committee members before making his next move.
Following reports about the senators’ letter to Grassley, Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics lawyer and chair of Citizens for Ethics in Washington (CREW), and others have turned to Twitter to urge the committe chairman to #ReleasetheDepo of Don Jr.: