After the New York Times revealed that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer to get campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton last summer, questions have been swirling about what, exactly, was discussed in that meeting. Americans may have answers soon enough now that the president's son has been summoned to be grilled by the Senate judiciary committee. So when will Trump Jr. testify before the committee? The highly anticipated hearing will take place on Wednesday, though it will happen behind closed doors.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was present at the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, was also initially called to testify on Wednesday. However, the Senate judiciary committee is reportedly dropping its subpoena of him. Though he's not expected to appear to testify, he and the committee will supposedly remain in touch.
According to Senators Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, who are leaders for the Senate judiciary committee, both men are fully "cooperating" with investigators. They have agreed to hand over relevant documents related to their dealings with Russia and take questions from the panel, though the hearing will not be public and Trump Jr. will not testify under oath. Grassley and Feinstein suggested that it's possible Trump Jr. will eventually testify publicly after the initial closed hearing.
The scandal began in June 2016, in the midst of the presidential election, when Trump Jr. received an email with the subject line "Clinton - Russia - private and confidential." The email, sent by longtime Trump business partner and British music producer Rob Goldstone, promised compromising information on the Clinton campaign as a part of "Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."
Trump Jr. responded, "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."
He attended a meeting with Veselnitskaya to receive the supposedly damaging intel, and his account of what exactly occurred in that meeting has changed dramatically over time as news outlets have pieced together concrete details about its unfolding.
Although Trump Jr. initially claimed that he only invited Manafort and brother-in-law Jared Kushner to the meeting, a total of eight attendees have been confirmed — including a Russian-American lobbyist and a person who was once the subject of a congressional inquiry into Russian money laundering.
Still, Trump Jr. maintains that the meeting was a "waste of time" and that Veselnitskaya only wanted to discuss Russian adoption, without providing any information whatsoever about Clinton or the presidential election. But given the ever-changing narrative surrounding the meeting, many questions still remain. While Trump Jr. will face some tough questioning on Wednesday by the Senate judiciary committee, his answers will remain behind closed doors — at least for now.