Judiciary senators: Kushner was contacted about WikiLeaks, Russia ahead of election
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Thursday disclosed that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
The two senators sent a letter to Kushner’s lawyer Thursday demanding additional documents from Trump’s son-in-law as part of the committee’s ongoing investigation of Russia’s election interference.
In the letter, Grassley and Feinstein say Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in September 2016 that he passed on to an official within President Trump’s campaign, in addition to communication about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.”
“For example, other parties have produced September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks, which Мr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official,” the letter reads.
“Likewise, other parties have produced documents concerning a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ which Mr. Kushner also forwarded,” the letter says. “And still others have produced communications with Sergei Millian, copied to Mr. Kushner. Again, these do not appear in Mr. Kushner’s production despite being responsive to the second request. You also have not produced any phone records that we presume exist and would relate to Mr. Kushner’s communications regarding several requests.”
The letter, addressed to Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell, says the documents provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee are “incomplete,” giving Lowell until Nov. 27 to comply with the request.
The lawmakers asked Lowell to provide the committee with transcripts of Kushner’s interviews with the Senate and House Intelligence committees, noting they do not have access to these specific interviews.
They’ve also asked Lowell to submit documents previously requested that relate to specific individuals in the Russia investigation.
“It appears that your search may have overlooked several documents,” the letter says.
They also request that Lowell look for communications with former national security adviser Michael Flynn, including any correspondence “to, from, or copied to Lt. General Flynn” that include specific terms like Clinton, Guccifer, Wikileaks, Turkey, Ukraine and Gazprom.
Lowell said Thursday that Kushner and his legal representation have replied to all the requests they have received and will continue to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“We provided the Judiciary Committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Mr. Kushner’s calls, contacts or meetings with Russians during the campaign and transition, which was the request,” Lowell said in a statement.
“We also informed the committee we will be open to responding to any additional requests and that we will continue to work with White House Counsel for any responsive documents from after the inauguration. We have been in a dialogue with the committee and will continue to do so as part of Mr. Kushner’s voluntary cooperation with relevant bi-partisan inquiries.”
The revelation that Kushner received communication about WikiLeaks prior to the November 2016 election comes several days after Donald Trump Jr. confirmed his correspondence with WikiLeaks leading up to the election.
Trump Jr. released the communications following a report in The Atlantic that described his correspondence with the organization. The correspondence, which Trump Jr. posted to Twitter, shows him exchanging private messages with the WikiLeaks account in September and October 2016.
WikiLeaks before the election published hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
Grassley and Feinstein in their letter also pushed back on the attorney’s claim that certain documents related to Kushner’s security clearance are confidential.
“Moreover, with regard to your claim that the documents are confidential, while the Privacy Act limits the government’s authority to release the information provided to it, there is no restriction on your client’s ability to provide that information to Congress,” the senators write.
Both Kushner and Trump Jr. have come under fire for a meeting during the campaign with a Russian lawyer after Trump Jr. had been promised harmful information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Updated: 5:02 p.m.