White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling on Monday, July 24, ABC News has learned. The closed-door session sets up what could be one of the most highly anticipated interviews for lawmakers to date.
Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell confirmed the meeting to ABC News. “As Mr. Kushner has been saying since March, he has been and is prepared to voluntarily cooperate and provide whatever information he has on the investigations to Congress,” Lowell said. “Working with and being responsive to the schedules of the committees, we have arranged Mr. Kushner’s interview with the senate for July 24. He will continue to cooperate and appreciates the opportunity to assist in putting this matter to rest.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee has said since March that Kushner is one of many within the Trump administration it planned to question and Kushner has always maintained a willingness to cooperate.
The appearance by Kushner, who has kept a low public profile since joining the administration, marks a new phase in the investigation as one of the president’s closest confidantes is called to answer questions.
Congressional investigators are expected to focus on Kushner’s contacts with Russians during and immediately after the campaign. All contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials have come under intensified scrutiny following repeated denials from the Trump administration that there were no undisclosed meetings with Russians — statements that have since been proven false.
Additionally, investigators are likely to ask about Kushner’s failure to disclose some of those encounters on his security clearance application, as required by law. Another attorney for Kushner, Jamie Gorelick, has previously stated that Kushner’s security clearance form, known as an SF-86, was “prematurely submitted” and that “among other errors, [it] did not list any contacts with foreign government officials.” Kushner has since updated that form with all relevant meetings, including “over 100 calls or meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries,” Gorelick told ABC News.
This morning, 22 House Democrats sent a letter to the acting director of the FBI raising questions about whether or not Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, may also have failed to disclose some of her husband’s foreign contacts, as well as some of her own.
It was just over a week ago that reports surfaced that Kushner took part in another meeting connected to Russia, arranged in part by his brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr.
Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya with the expectation of receiving incriminating information about then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign, according to emails Trump Jr. publicly released on Twitter. Those emails were forwarded by Trump Jr. to Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. Donald Trump Jr. stated during an interview with Fox News that Kushner left that meeting about 10 minutes after it started. Additionally, sources with knowledge of the meeting told ABC News that Kushner did not read to the bottom of the four-page email chain that mentioned the pretext for the meeting.
The email chain shows a detailed conversation between Trump Jr. and Rob Goldstone, a music producer and acquaintance of Trump Jr. who had initiated the contact and helped arrange the meeting. Goldstone tells Trump Jr. in the emails, among other things, that he could provide “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.”
Trump Jr. responded to the request for a meeting positively, saying to Goldstone, “if it’s what you say I love it.”
Members of both the Senate Intelligence Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee have said they also plan to call both Trump Jr. and Manafort — a date for those hearings has not been set. Both Trump Jr. and Manafort have said they will cooperate.
Kushner and now-former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn met with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in New York last December. ABC News also confirmed that a meeting occurred, at Kislyak’s request, between Kushner and Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, one of the Russian businesses affected by sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
Senate Intelligence Committee aides declined to comment on the Kushner interview.
(Source: ABC News)