Fresh off of a two-day Aspen ski trip and accusations that he didn’t do enough to support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has offered to talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee about meetings he set up with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Those meetings took place during the Trump team’s transition and were reported, but a previously unreported meeting with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of the Russian government-owned Vnesheconombank, has now surfaced as the Senate committee continues its inquiries into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
In the case of Gorkov, Senate investigators want to know whether Kushner sought any financing for what The N.Y. Times describes as an “over-leveraged Manhattan office tower on Fifth Avenue” that’s a part of his family’s real estate holdings. Such a move would go against sanctions that the United States placed on the bank after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea in Spring 2014.
This all comes just a week after FBI Director James Comey revealed that federal investigators are looking into whether campaign aides for the Trump team, such as Paul Manafort, coordinated political attacks with alleged Russia meddlers to weaken the Clinton campaign.
In that same week, Rep. Devin Nunes (R- Calif.), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Trump White House that communications might’ve been incidentally picked up by domestic surveillance but failed to tell Democrats on his committee about that information. Nunes apologized for the move and even meagerly backed away from the statement, but then on Friday he canceled a second public hearing with Director Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers with little notice. Nunes says the hearing will still happen but CNN reports that Democrats insist Nunes is trying to “suicide bomb” the investigation.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s first public hearing will be this coming Thursday and will feature testimony from cybersecurity experts. Individuals such as Manafort, Roger Stone (who claimed to have “back channels” to Wikileaks’ Julian Assange) and former NSA Adviser Mike Flynn (who allegedly lobbied for Turkish interests and was fired by Trump for lying to Vice President Mike Flynn) have yet to be called by the committee, and Kushner himself doesn’t have a public hearing date scheduled with the committee.
Things are moving quickly for Ivanka Trump’s spouse, as not only does he have a possible Senate Intelligence Committee meeting coming down the pipe, but also the job of heading up a “SWAT Team” to overhaul federal bureaucracy and fulfill campaign promises. Whether that newly found job will be jeopardized by said Senate hearings remains to be seen.