Tuesday 12 December 2017

Kushner says he'll comply with probe into ties between Trump campaign and Russia

Co-operating: Jared Kushner. Photo: Reuters
Co-operating: Jared Kushner. Photo: Reuters

Matthew Daly

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is willing to co-operate with federal investigators looking into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, his attorney said.

The statement from attorney Jamie Gorelick was issued amid reports the FBI was investigating meetings Mr Kushner had in December with Russian officials.

"Mr Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House oversight committee asked the FBI to turn over more documents about former director James Comey's interactions with the White House and Justice Department, including materials dating back nearly four years to the Obama administration.

The FBI and the oversight committee - as well as other congressional panels - are looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. Mr Trump fired Mr Comey on May 9 amid questions about the FBI's investigation, now being overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director.

'NBC News' and 'The Washington Post' first reported the FBI's ongoing investigation includes a look at Mr Kushner, which would place the probe inside the White House.

Mr Kushner, a key White House advisor, had meetings late last year with Russia's ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak and Russian banker Sergey Gorkov.

The 'Post' story cited anonymous "people familiar with the investigation," who said the FBI probe does not mean that Mr Kushner is suspected of a crime.

Earlier yesterday, House oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz told acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe that he wants records of Mr Comey's contacts with the White House and Justice Department dating to September 2013, when Mr Comey was sworn in as FBI director under former president Barack Obama.

In a letter to Mr McCabe, Mr Chaffetz said he is seeking to review Mr Comey's memos and other written materials so he can "better understand" Mr Comey's communications with the White House and attorney general's office.

Mr Chaffetz previously requested Mr Comey's recent memos about his private contacts with Mr Trump. But the bureau told him it could not yet turn them over because of Mr Mueller's probe.

Mr Chaffetz, who said last week he has his "subpoena pen" ready to force Mr Comey or the FBI to turn over the documents, told Mr McCabe that "Congress and the American public have a right and a duty to examine this issue independently of the special counsel's investigation".

He added, in a thinly veiled threat, "I trust and hope you understand this and make the right decision." He cancelled a hearing scheduled for Wednesday after Mr Comey declined to testify.

Irish Independent

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