Feinstein requests interview with WH social media director amid Russia probe

Feinstein requests interview with WH social media director amid Russia probe
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee wants the panel to interview Trump aide and longtime confidant Dan Scavino as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday sent a letter to Scavino, who now serves as White House social media director, requesting a tranche of documents from him in addition to an interview later this month.

“Given your role on the campaign and in the White House, we believe that you have information that would assist the Committee in its investigation related to the 2016 presidential election and the dismissal of Director Comey,” Feinstein wrote. “Accordingly, we are writing to request documents and to schedule an interview with you in January 2018.”

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Scavino, who began his career with Trump in the early 1990s as one of his golf caddies, ran social media for Trump’s presidential campaign and is said to be frequently at Trump’s side in the White House. 

Scavino was reportedly with Trump at his golf club in New Jersey the weekend Trump decided to fire then-FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyIntelligence officials showed Trump classified proof Putin ordered election interference: report FBI director says Russian influence efforts are ‘very active’ Ex-Clinton press secretary Fallon rejects Comey endorsement of Democrats in midterms MORE. In her letter, Feinstein asked Scavino for information related to Comey’s firing or his interactions with Trump.

Scavino has also been swept up in the intrigue surrounding Russian interference in the election.

The Washington Post reported in December that an executive at Russian social media company VKontakte reached out to Scavino and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDNC claims Secret Service blocked attempt to deliver lawsuit against Kushner Secret Service spent nearly 0,000 on protection for Trump's sons during overseas trips Government paid K to Trump company for Scotland stay MORE, the president’s eldest son, by email before the election offering to help promote the campaign through the platform.

Feinstein wrote in the letter that the committee “received information that you may have corresponded with Russian nationals regarding Trump campaign social media efforts.” 

Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting Senate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (R-Iowa) did not sign on to Feinstein’s letter but is copied on it. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Russia probe has been plagued by partisan divisions, with Republicans and Democrats accusing each other of stonewalling the investigation.

She also asked Scavino to provide documents concerning the appointment of Michael Flynn as national security adviser and his subsequent resignation, as well as those pertaining to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya before which Trump Jr. was offered damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonState Dept: Russia’s allegations about American citizens ‘absolutely absurd’ Trump on possible sit-down with Mueller: 'I've always wanted to do an interview' Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE

The top Democrat also asked for any communications with representatives of WikiLeaks, DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0 or VKontakte.