Senate panel releases details from its Trump Tower meeting probe

WASHINGTON, May 16 (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday released hundreds of pages of transcripts and other details from its investigation of a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with Russians who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton, President Donald Trump's Democratic rival for the presidency.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Republican Chuck Grassley, released its interviews with Donald Trump Jr., Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, and Moscow-based developer Ike Kaveladze.

The transcripts also included interviews with Glenn Simpson, a co-founder of Fusion GPS, which researched Trump's ties to Russia and produced a dossier denounced by the White House, and Robert Goldstone, a music publicist who said he had information about Clinton, and written responses to questions from the committee from Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who attended the meeting, and Anatoli Samochornov, her translator.

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Donald Trump, Jr., son of US President Donald Trump, attends the 139th White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. arrives to speak during the second session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Donald Trump Jr. speaks about his father, Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Donald Trump Jr. pumps his fist after speaking about his father, Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, during the second day at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Donald Trump Jr. speaks about his father, Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
Donald Trump Jr. speaks about his father, Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Donald Trump Jr. speaks about his father, Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Donald Trump Jr. speaks about his father, Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa attend the second day session at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Donald Trump Jr. speaks about his father, Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Tiffany Trump. daughter of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, sits near her half-brother Donald Trump Jr. (C) during evening speeches at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Donald Trump Jr, son of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, tours the arena at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
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U.S. President Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr., watch children roll Easter Eggs at 139th annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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BOZEMAN, MT - APRIL 22: Donald Trump Jr. speaks at a rally for Republican Greg Gianforte as he campaigns for the Montana House of Representatives seat vacated by the appointment of Ryan Zinke to head the Department of Interior on April 22, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana. Gianforte is running against democrat Rob Quist in the special election to be held on May 25, 2017. (Photo by William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)
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During his interview, Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, was asked about communications from Goldstone about offers of support from "important" Russians as Trump emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination during the primaries.

Trump said, however, that he would have taken such a message only as "general well-wishing," not a concrete offer of help.

The committee said that Trump's son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, declined to be interviewed but submitted material relevant to the investigation.

The interviews were conducted between July 2017 and March 2018.

Grassley had said in January he wanted to release the transcripts of the interviews. His committee is one of three congressional panels investigating the intelligence community's finding that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election to boost Trump and whether Trump associates colluded with Moscow.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating.

The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting has been central to those probes.

Russia denies trying to influence the election. Trump dismisses any talk of collusion.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Karen Freifeld, Jonathan Landay and Susan Heavey; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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