Senate intel leaders said Trump associates may have presented misleading testimony during Russia probe: report

Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee reportedly told federal prosecutors last year that they believed President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE’s family and associates may have presented misleading testimony during the panel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Among those suspected of presenting misleading information are the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerBiden to speak with Saudi king 'soon' as pressure builds for Khashoggi report Biden to speak with Saudi king ahead of Khashoggi report: report Former Trump officials eye bids for political office MORE, unidentified sources familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. Trump Jr.'s and Kushner's accounts of a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign reportedly conflicted with the testimony of former deputy campaign chairman Rick GatesRick GatesTrump Jr. was deposed in inauguration funds probe Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Sunday shows preview: Nation gears up for inoculation following FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine MORE

The committee also reportedly accused the president’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, former campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis and private security contractor Erik Prince of lying to Congress, which potentially carries a felony charge.


The concerns were detailed in a letter sent by the committee in June 2019 to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., according to a copy obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

It’s unclear if the Department of Justice (DOJ) took any action on the referrals, which are generally tips from Congress about potential criminal activity.

A spokesperson for Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDeSantis derides 'failed Republican establishment' at CPAC The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Mehdi Hasan gets MSNBC Sunday prime-time show MORE (R-Fla.), the acting chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The Hill that the panel would not discuss the referrals.

“And those who in order to score cheap political points are speculating on or claim to know the identities of those referred are committing a grotesque injustice,” the spokesperson said.

The DOJ did not return a request for comments from The Hill.


The Senate Intelligence Committee engaged in an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election for more than three years. Like former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE, the panel concluded that the Kremlin mounted a sophisticated effort to boost President Trump and harm Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE’s candidacy during the lead-up to the 2016 election.

While other investigations into Russia interference were marred by political disputes, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe has remained largely bipartisan. The panel announced earlier this month that it had voted to adopt its fifth and final report on its investigation.

Three officials told the Post that the committee referred several individuals to the Justice Department amid its investigation because of inconsistencies in their answers. Former Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 vaccine makers pledge massive supply increase | Biden health nominee faces first Senate test | White House defends reopening of facility for migrant kids MORE (R-N.C.) and ranking member Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDemocrats demand Saudi accountability over Khashoggi killing US intel: Saudi crown prince approved Khashoggi killing Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow MORE (D-Va.) reportedly signed off on all of the referrals, some of which were directed to Mueller’s team.

A Senate Intelligence Committee aide told The Hill that referrals were made when lawmakers suspected a crime may have been committed. They are not indictments, the aide said, adding the panel did not know their current status.

One referral letter sent to the Justice Department in 2019 reportedly said that Bannon may have lied to the panel regarding a meeting that Prince had in the Seychelles with an ally of Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFor better or worse: Which way will US-Saudi relations go under Biden? How to rethink Russia sanctions Tucker Carlson bashes CNN, claims it's 'more destructive' than QAnon MORE.


That letter reportedly included sections addressing people suspected of making false statements and a separate one about figures’ testimonies that were contradicted by Gates.

Hope HicksHope HicksUPDATED: McEnany, Fox News talks on pause Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus MORE, Trump’s former communications director, and Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortProsecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik New York court rules Manafort can't be prosecuted by Manhattan DA MORE, President Trump’s ex-campaign chairman, were listed in the second section in addition to Trump Jr. and Kushner, according to the Post. Trump Jr. and other campaign associates came under scrutiny over their involvement in a Manhattan Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging info on Clinton. 

“We are fully confident in the testimony and information provided by Donald J. Trump, Jr.,” Alan Futerfas, Trump Jr.’s lawyer, told the newspaper. “In our view, this is a non-story.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee interviewed hundreds of people in its probe that stretched for nearly 3 ½ years. Members of the committee said in early August that in the coming days, they will work to “formalize a properly redacted, declassified, publicly releasable version of the Volume 5 report.”

The report's release will conclude the last remaining investigation into Russian election interference. 

--This report was updated on Aug. 17 at 11:21 a.m.