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Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr ready to testify in Senate

The Russian lawyer who met with President Donald Trump's eldest son during the 2016 election campaign said she is ready to testify before the US Senate and "clarify the situation behind this mass hysteria".

Donald Trump Jr agreed to meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya in the expectation of receiving incriminating information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father's White House campaign, according to emails Mr Trump Jr has publicly released.

President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.

The meeting raised new questions about the Trump campaign's possible ties to Moscow, which are being scrutinised by federal and congressional investigators.

These questions have only intensified as the identities of other Russia-connected participants have become known.

"I am ready to clarify the situation behind the mass hysteria, but only through lawyers or testifying in the Senate," Ms Veselnitskaya said in an interview with Kremlin-funded RT television broadcast.

"If the Senate wishes to hear the real story, I will be happy to speak up and share everything I wanted to tell Mr. Trump," she added.

That appeared to be a reference to Veselnitskaya's previous statement that the meeting with Mr Trump Jr focused on US-Russian adoption policies and a US sanctions law.

She has denied working for the Russian government.

Congressional investigators have said they want to hear from all of those involved in the meeting.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr confirmed on Tuesday that his panel is investigating it.

Referring to the emails released by Mr Trump Jr, Mr Burr said that "any intelligence out there that suggests somebody is of interest to us, we have to pursue it. ... You've now got an email chain that makes this a very important aspect to get into".

On Wednesday, the top Democrat on the Intelligence panel, Virginia Sen Mark Warner, said "it's still being worked out" whether some of the committee's more high-profile witnesses, including Mr Trump Jr and Mr Manafort, should testify publicly or privately.

Mr Warner said that for Mr Trump Jr, "he's got no security clearances that I am aware of, so he should be able to testify in public".

Mr Trump Jr and Mr Manafort could also testify publicly in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The GOP chairman of that panel, Iowa Sen Chuck Grassley, has asked them both to testify.

The top Democrat on that panel, Sen Dianne Feinstein of California, said this week that special counsel Robert Mueller has cleared them for public testimony.

AP

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