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GOP judiciary chair gives up on questioning ‘spooked’ Jared Kushner about Trump Tower meeting — and blames Democrats

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Thursday said the panel has concluded interviewing witnesses to the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting, and blamed Democrats for “spooking” potential witnesses—including top Donald Trump aide Jared Kushner.

Grassley also said “it’s time to start release” of the transcripts surrounding that meeting.

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“I have said all along that I favor as much transparency as possible in our investigations—but at the appropriate time, so we don’t undermine our work,” Grassley wrote in a statement. “I had hoped to speak with all the witnesses surrounding the Trump Tower meeting before releasing any of those interview transcripts. But the ranking member [Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)] unilaterally released the transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. That has spooked other potential witnesses.”

“As a result, it looks like our chances of getting a voluntary interview with Mr. Kushner have been shot,” Grassley wrote. “He has already provided his account to the Intelligence Committee.”

Earlier this month, Feinstein released a transcript of Simpson’s testimony before the committee without consulting Grassley. Her decision came as Republicans ramped up their efforts to discredit the dossier compiled with he helped of Simpsons’ firm, Fusion GPS.

“The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation,” Feinstein said at the time.

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Grassley said Feinstein’s decision to release that transcript “undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work. The ranking Democrat later said she regretted not informing Grassley about her decision before releasing Simpson’s testimony.

“I don’t make an excuse but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities a little bit,” she said.

Despite Grassley’s supposed frustration with Feinstein’s decision to release Simpson’s testimony, the GOP committee chairman claims he is now interested in full transparency on those witness testimonies.

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“Let’s get them out there for everyone to see,” he wrote.


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WATCH: Lewandowski’s lawyer freaks out, tries to block Congress from asking any further questions

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During the House Judiciary Committee testimony of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the Russia investigation, Lewandowski's attorney frantically crashed the witness table and demanded that Congress stop asking questions of his client.

"Mister Chairman, as you know I am counsel for Mr. Lewandowski—" began the attorney.

"You are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table," cut in House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sharply.

"I understand that," said Lewandowski's attorney. "I will leave after I register a formal protest based upon the debate that I heard. These seem to be unauthorized questions and I know you choose your words carefully—"

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Lewandowski’s testimony will let Democrats build Nixon-like articles of impeachment: Ex-prosecutor

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As President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski combatively testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he admitted that Trump asked him to communicate to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation must be shut down. Aside from that revelation, most of the testimony was unproductive, with Lewandowski lashing out at members of Congress and running interference for the president.

But as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter, these outbursts — and the fact that Trump sanctioned the way that Lewandowski behaved in the hearing — could be the basis for Democrats to write up articles of impeachment against Trump similar to those drafted against Richard Nixon in 1974:

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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