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

The new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data MORE (D-Calif.), suggested this week that senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerFinancial disclosure form shows Ivanka Trump earned M from DC Trump hotel Financial disclosure form shows Ivanka Trump earned M from DC Trump hotel Kim Kardashian West joins Trump at White House event for ex-prisoners MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' 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 CohenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt 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 Bannon Ocasio-Cortez: 'I want to know about the racism' involved with census citizenship question CNN's Jim Acosta: Trump is 'crazy like a fox' BBC News anchor confronts Michael Wolff for using Bannon as a source for his book 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) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 PelosiElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments 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