Week ahead in cyber: Trump Jr., Manafort slated to testify

Lawmakers are eager to uncover more details about the meeting between Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday This week: ObamaCare repeal vote looms over Senate Week ahead in cyber: Trump Jr., Manafort slated to testify MORE Jr. and a Russian lawyer that has raised new questions about ties between President Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Trump’s eldest son and Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, have both been summoned to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

The high-profile hearing will give lawmakers a chance to raise questions about possible coordination between the campaign and Russia’s use of cyberattacks and disinformation to influence the election.

The hearing, which had been rescheduled from an earlier date, was generally intended to focus on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and attempts to influence U.S. elections.

Scrutiny on Trump Jr. has mounted since it was revealed that he met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 after being promised damaging information on Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday Juan Williams: Dems finally focus on message This week: ObamaCare repeal vote looms over Senate MORE. It’s been learned that eight people took part in the meeting, including Manafort, Trump’s son-in-law and now senior adviser Jared Kushner, a Russian pop star, and a Russian lobbyist.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyThis week: ObamaCare repeal vote looms over Senate Week ahead in cyber: Trump Jr., Manafort slated to testify Trump Jr. adds to legal team ahead of Senate meeting MORE (R-Iowa) has threatened to subpoena them if they don’t comply with the request.

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Separately, Kushner is expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed setting on Monday, as part of that panel’s investigation into Russia’s cyber meddling.

The week could also bring an appearance by former Obama administration official Samantha PowerSamantha PowerWeek ahead in cyber: Trump Jr., Manafort slated to testify Susan Rice’s House testimony delayed: report Globe heaps scorn on Trump for Paris exit MORE before the House Intelligence Committee.

The committee recently delayed planned testimony from former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice. Rice reportedly met quietly with the Senate panel on Friday, according to CNN

Power, who served as ambassador to the United Nations, could appear before the committee ahead of the August recess.

All eyes will also be on special counsel Robert Mueller as the Justice Department’s own probe into Russian meddling reportedly is turning to look at Trump’s business dealings.

Tensions between the president and Mueller heightened in recent days, with Trump telling the New York Times in an interview that the special counsel would be crossing a red line by looking into his finances or those of his family.

Trump’s aides and lawyers are now said to be probing for conflicts of interest that could be used to undermine the credibility of Mueller’s probe.

The Senate could also vote as soon as the coming week on the confirmation of Christopher Wray, Trump’s choice to be FBI director.

Wray, a former Justice Department official, was widely praised during his confirmation hearing earlier this month and unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a vote Thursday.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellJudd Gregg: For Trump, reaching out would pay off Congressional GOP struggles for a win as recess looms This week: ObamaCare repeal vote looms over Senate MORE (R-Ky.) is said to be setting up Wray for a full Senate vote before lawmakers leave for the August recess. If confirmed, Wray will replace James Comey, who Trump fired in May.

Also on Capitol Hill, lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee will examine technology’s role in securing the U.S. border during a hearing Tuesday morning. 

Lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on U.S. cyber diplomacy featuring Chris Painter, the State Department’s outgoing cyber coordinator.

Painter was thrust into the spotlight in the past week when news broke that he would leave his post at the end of July, after more than six years on the job. Painter’s exit was followed by reports that the State Department plans to close the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues and shuffle it under the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, which critics say would scale back the power of the cyber coordinator. 

Outside of Washington, the cybersecurity community will be focused on two major cyber conferences taking place back-to-back in Las Vegas. 

Black Hat’s main conference begins Wednesday and is immediately followed by DEF CON, which stretches into the weekend.

The Hill’s Joe Uchill will be there to provide the latest on the hacker conferences.


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