Schiff says Kushner, Bannon invoked 'bogus privileges' in testimonies before Congress

The new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAll eyes on Garland after Bannon contempt vote House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party MORE (D-Calif.), suggested this week that senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump attacks Meghan McCain and her family McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE and President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon invoked “bogus privileges” to avoid answering certain questions in their testimonies before lawmakers as part of the committee's Russia probe.

During an interview that aired on Friday on Hill.TV's "Rising," Schiff said his committee hopes to bring back a number of witnesses, including Trump's former personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenAuthor of controversial Trump Russia dossier speaks out: 'I stand by the work we did' Trump Organization faces new scrutiny in New York civil probe Michael Cohen: Trump bluffing about another White House bid MORE, as part of its investigation into Russian election interference, which was brought to a close last year by Republicans who at the time controlled the intel panel.

“There were any number of witnesses, and he was one of them, who would simply refuse to answer questions they didn’t want to answer because they felt it might incriminate them or might incriminate others or they simply had their own reasons they wouldn’t share with the committee,” Schiff said. “Sometimes they claimed bogus privileges, in the case of Jared Kushner or Don Jr. or Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonJan. 6 committee chair: 'No question' Capitol riot was a premeditated attack Abuses of executive privilege reveal our system of checks and balances is on life support Three key behind-the-scenes figures in Jan. 6 probe MORE there were claims of attorney client privilege or the White House asked me not to."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schiff said that there are a number of witnesses who the committee is interested in bringing back for more testimony as part of the Russia investigation, and Kushner might be one of them.

“He may be one of those people. He did come and testify before the committee there were a number of questions he was not willing to answer,” Schiff said, adding that he would “love” to invite Cohen back.

In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timing of plans relating to efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He also agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's own Russia investigation, according to a plea deal released by the special counsel.

Schiff said one of the committee’s early steps would be to provide Mueller with transcripts from their witnesses to compare notes and see “whether witnesses have been truthful before Congress.”

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Sunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight Pelosi won't say if she'll run for reelection in 2022 MORE (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that she has selected Schiff to lead the House Intelligence Committee. Democratic House committee chairs are prepared to launch multiple investigations into Trump.

—Tess Bonn