WASHINGTON — Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee interviewed Jared Kushner behind closed doors Thursday morning, less than a week after the attorney general sent his summary of the Mueller investigation to Congress.
Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, exited the committee’s secure space just before noon Thursday and did not answer questions. The meeting, which included several senators as well as staff, began at around 9:30 a.m.
“I can’t tell you anything about the investigation,” committee chair Richard Burr said as he left the committee’s secure space. A spokesperson for Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chair, declined to comment.
Committee staff first interviewed Kushner in July 2017. After that interview, Kushner said he told staff about his contacts with Russians during and after the campaign, adding that he “did not collude with Russia” and did not “know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.” Since then, Warner and other senators have advocated for Kushner to return to speak before the full committee, possibly in public.
Kushner was present at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between senior Trump campaign officials and a delegation of Russians seeking to change US sanctions against Russia. Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, accepted the meeting after being promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton.
Kushner also reportedly spoke with the Russian ambassador about creating a secret back channel between the Trump team and Russia during the transition period.
The White House declined to comment.
Special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report on Russian election interference Friday. Two days later, Attorney General Bill Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller’s report. “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller’s report states, according to Barr’s summary.
Mueller also “left unresolved” the question of whether Trump obstructed justice during the investigation, leaving the determination to Barr, who “concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He is a 2018 Pulitzer finalist for international reporting, recipient of the IRE 2016 FOI award and a 2016 Newseum Institute National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame inductee.