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

The new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report Dems attack Barr's credibility after report of White House briefings on Mueller findings Congress won't get Mueller report until after Barr press conference MORE (D-Calif.), suggested this week that senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerKushner says Middle East peace plan won't be released before June Oversight Republicans to chairman: Investigate Obama aides The Hill's 12:30 Report: GOP wants Trump to keep them in the loop MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report 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 Cohen, 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 BannonScaramucci: Mr. President, the press is not the enemy of the people MSNBC to relaunch 'On Assignment' series with foreign correspondent Richard Engel Corporate self-regulation is failing 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Pelosi accuses Barr of 'single-minded effort' to protect Trump against Mueller report Dems attack Barr's credibility after report of White House briefings on Mueller findings 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