Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and forwarded them to another campaign official, according to a letter to his attorney from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Kushner failed to turn over the relevant documents when they asked for them last month.
“We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,” the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.
In a section of the letter titled “Missing documents,” Grassley and Feinstein said Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser, had handed over some materials but omitted communications that mentioned some of the people connected to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“If, as you suggest, Mr. Kushner was unaware of, for example, any attempts at Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, then presumably there would be few communications concerning many of the persons identified,” the lawmakers wrote.
Grassley and Feinstein also alluded to documents they received from other witnesses on which Kushner was copied.
“Other parties have produced September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks, which Mr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official,” they wrote. “Such documents should have been produced...but were not.”
“Likewise, other parties have produced documents concerning a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ which Mr. Kushner also forwarded. 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.”
They asked Kushner to turn over all responsive documents by Nov. 27.
We know that this overture from Assange and WikiLeaks exists because Donny Jr. was more than happy to tell everyone about it earlier this week.
Just before the stroke of midnight on September 20, 2016, at the height of last year’s presidential election, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a private direct message to Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee’s oldest son and campaign surrogate. “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,” WikiLeaks wrote. “The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?” (The site, which has since become a joint project with Mother Jones, was founded by Rob Glaser, a tech entrepreneur, and was funded by Progress for USA Political Action Committee.)
The next morning, about 12 hours later, Trump Jr. responded to WikiLeaks. “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” he wrote on September 21, 2016. “Thanks.”
The messages, obtained by The Atlantic, were also turned over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers to congressional investigators. They are part of a long—and largely one-sided—correspondence between WikiLeaks and the president’s son that continued until at least July 2017. The messages show WikiLeaks, a radical transparency organization that the American intelligence community believes was chosen by the Russian government to disseminate the information it had hacked, actively soliciting Trump Jr.’s cooperation. WikiLeaks made a series of increasingly bold requests, including asking for Trump’s tax returns, urging the Trump campaign on Election Day to reject the results of the election as rigged, and requesting that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint Julian Assange ambassador to the United States.
Trump Jr. then tweeted copies of his conversations with WikiLeaks because he is both immensely arrogant and painfully idiotic, always a terrible combination.
As Ten Bears pointed out in the comments a couple days ago, we know Donny can't keep his goddamn trap shut.
On the same day that Trump Jr. received the first message from WikiLeaks, he e-mailed other senior officials campaign, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner... Didn't Our Tea Pot Dictator twit a teaser to the effect that dirt was on the way shortly thereafter? Like, the same day.
Why yes, yes he did. That would be a very interesting subject to know more about. So interesting, in fact, that the Senate is asking Jared Kushner what he knew at the minimum, and I'm betting Bannon, Conway, and Parscale will be asked to turn over any correspondence on this if they haven't done so already.
Robert Mueller too is on the case here in his own investigation. The WSJ reported last night that Mueller issued a subpoena to more than a dozen members of the Trump campaign last month.
These guys are really, really bad at being sneaky.