Kushner under scrutiny in Russian probe

Jared Kushner, President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, is under increasing scrutiny in the myriad investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed on Thursday that Kushner failed to hand over a document about a “Russian backdoor overture” — nor did he provide investigators with a September 2016 email he was sent about WikiLeaks or communications the campaign forwarded to him from a Russian-born businessman.

He remains a person of interest in special counsel Robert Mueller’s federal investigation into Russian election meddling, a source with knowledge of the probe told Reuters.


The drumbeat of headlines has underscored the glaring spotlight on Kushner. The former real estate developer is not only a member of the president’s family, he is responsible for a broad international portfolio in the administration.

The revelation from the Senate Judiciary Committee came on the heels of reports, confirmed by Donald Trump Jr., that the president’s eldest son exchanged private Twitter messages with WikiLeaks, which is believed by U.S. intelligence to have acted as a siphon for Democratic emails stolen by Russia during the election.

Kushner has long been a flashpoint in the controversy over Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, thanks to his central role in the campaign. He spearheaded the campaign’s formidable data and analytics operation, under scrutiny as congressional investigators work to determine the extent to which Russia leveraged social media platforms in its interference campaign.

The 36-year-old has sought to paint himself as a hard-working campaign aide sometimes operating beyond his experience level.

“My experience was in business, not politics,” Kushner said in a closed-door interview with congressional investigators in July, describing his role in the campaign as including finance and scheduling, as well as serving as a point of contact for foreign government officials. “All of these were tasks that I had never performed on a campaign previously.”

His actions, he said, “should be viewed through the lens of a fast-paced campaign with thousands of meetings and interactions, some of which were impactful and memorable and many of which were not.”

Among those interactions: Kushner has also drawn scrutiny for his participation in a June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and a woman described as a Russian government lawyer who was offering damaging information on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE.

According to Kushner, he arrived late to the meeting and found the discussion to be about the ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children, put in place by Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to 2012 sanctions over human rights violations.

Determining that the meeting was a waste of his time, Kushner left the meeting shortly after arriving — leaving Trump Jr., top campaign aide Paul Manafort and several other attendees behind.

Kushner has also previously pushed back on press reports that he tried to set up a back channel line of communications with Moscow.

According to Kushner, he suggested using the Russian Embassy’s secure line for a phone call between Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russian generals to discuss U.S. policy in Syria — because Trump Tower did not have that capability.

The Russian ambassador said no, according to a July written statement, and the matter was postponed until after the inauguration.

At the helm of the Trump campaign’s digital arm, Kushner brought in an outside data mining firm that is now under congressional scrutiny as a potential link to the Kremlin. The head of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, contacted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about emails that Clinton deleted from the server she used while secretary of State.

The Trump campaign, which paid Cambridge Analytica millions during the 2016 presidential race, appeared to distance itself from the firm in the wake of the revelations.

In a letter to Kushner’s lawyer made public on Thursday, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel Feinstein Ban on new offshore drilling must stay in the Build Back Better Act Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Jane Fonda to push for end to offshore oil drilling in California MORE (D-Calif.) said that the senior adviser “may have overlooked several documents” in its disclosures to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kushner has appeared before the Senate and House Intelligence committees but has not testified with the Judiciary panel.

“We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,” said the letter.

Kushner has declined to hand over a copy of the government form that he completed to acquire a security clearance, known as an SF-86. Kushner has amended the form at least twice after failing to disclose meetings with foreign officials, including multiple Russians.

The senior adviser is still using a temporary security clearance almost 10 months after joining the administration, Politico reported Thursday.

According to the letter, Kushner also failed to turn over communications with a Belarusan-American businessman, Sergei Millian, who was the source of some of the more salacious details in an unconfirmed dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Investigators are also keen to uncover more information about Flynn, requesting any records of communications with and about the former national security adviser.

Flynn — who resigned after just 24 days in the White House — is reportedly under investigation for an alleged quid pro quo with the Turkish government, in which he would have been paid millions of dollars in exchange for the extradition of a Muslim cleric living in the U.S.

All of these documents Senate investigators uncovered because other witnesses in the probe revealed them, according to the letter.

Kushner’s attorney said in a statement that the president’s son-in-law has been “responsive” to committee requests and will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

He has flatly denied colluding with the Russian government during the 2016 election.

“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner said in his July testimony.