FBI probing Trump son-in-law Kushner’s Russian links

26 May 2017


Amid reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was probing meetings between Jared Kushner, son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, and Russian officials in December last year, Kushner's attorney said he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators looking into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

"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," a statement from attorney Jamie Gorelick said.

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

Chaffetz has sought materials dating to September 2013, when acting FBI director Andrew McCabe was sworn in as FBI director under President Barack Obama.

The FBI and the oversight committee as well as several other congressional panels are looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Trump fired Comey on 9 May and the FBI investigation is now being overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director.

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

Kushner, a key White House adviser, 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'' to say the FBI investigation does not mean that Kushner is suspected of a crime.

Earlier on Thursday, Chaffetz, in a letter to McCabe, said he was seeking to review Comey's memos and other written materials so he could ''better understand'' Comey's communications with the White House and the Attorney General's office.

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

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

Chaffetz's letter comes a month before he is scheduled to leave office after abruptly announcing his resignation earlier this year. He cancelled a hearing scheduled on Wednesday after Comey declined to testify.

Assistant FBI director Gregory Brower told Chaffetz on Thursday that the bureau was evaluating his request and would update him as soon as possible.

Some Republican members of Congress have reportedly been pressuring Chaffetz to step down from the Comey probe, saying it should be led by someone who will remain in Congress.

Rep Trey Gowdy, R-SC, is considered the frontrunner to replace Chaffetz as oversight chair. He led a special House panel that spent more than two years investigating the deadly 2012 attacks on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

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