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

The new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffMueller's done, and Dems should be too — because Trump is no Nixon Trump blames Obama for 'anything the Russians did' in 2016 election Mueller report poses new test for Dems MORE (D-Calif.), suggested this week that senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMueller considered charging campaign aides in Trump Tower meeting but lacked evidence There could be a turning point in Israeli-Palestinian peace effort Durbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction 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 PelosiBoth sides were wrong about Mueller report, and none of it will likely matter for 2020 Elijah Cummings: 'I am begging the American people to pay attention to what's going on' Angus King: 'Mueller passed the obstruction question to the Congress and Barr intercepted the pass' 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