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By Kevin Daley
Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort will not testify under oath when they appear before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to answer questions in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Lawmakers on the panel say their appearance does not bar the possibility that they will be called to testify under oath in an open setting in the future. The committee raised the prospect of subpoenas for the two men last week if they declined to testify, prompting lawyers for Manafort, Trump Jr., and the committee to reach a deal and avoid a compelled appearance.
GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who chairs the panel, pointed out it is still a crime to lie to Congress, even if a false statement is not made under oath.
Tell jake tapper at CNN it's a crime to lie to congress whether trump jr is under oath or not. Pretty std way to conduct on record intrvu
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) July 23, 2017
Some Democrats on the panel, including Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, expressed disappointment with the deal and reiterated their belief that both men should testify publicly.
“No, that’s not good enough,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. “They should be under oath.”
Trump Jr. vowed that he would give testimony under oath during a July 11 appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, asserting that he had “nothing to hide.”
President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Monday and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Tuesday.
Manafort and Trump Jr.’s closed-door meeting with Senate Judiciary has not yet been scheduled.