White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner did not disclose details to Senate investigators of an outreach from a banker linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin — an approach that Kushner rejected.
The New York Times reported Friday that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Russian central bank, proposed in May 2016 to meet Trump on the sidelines of an NRA event in Louisville, Kentucky.
The email — which was apparently leaked after it was handed over to Senate investigators — suggested he had a message from Putin and came with the subject line:“Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.”
The message made its way up the Trump food chain amid a lengthy email chain until it was brushed off by Kushner:
“Pass on this,” Kushner reportedly responded. “A lot of people come claiming to carry messages. Very few we are able to verify. For now I think we decline such meetings.”
According to NBC News, congressional investigators are also interested in how Torshin was eventually seated with Donald Trump Jr. at a private dinner near the same convention. A spokesman for Trump Jr. denies they were sat together, and instead merely had a short conversation.
While the situation shows Kushner turning down the advance, it has also raised the eyebrows of Senate investigators, apparently unhappy that this communication was not disclosed to them before.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote to Kushner’s lawyer last week, saying the documents he provided was incomplete. The letter demanded Kushner provide the additional documents by the end of the month.
Grassley and Feinstein mentioned the Toshin messages, as well as “September 2016 email communications” concerning WikiLeaks, according to the Associated Press.
It is far from the first frustration investigators have had with President Trump’s son-in-law. Lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee were angered in September when they discovered from media reports that Kushner used a private email account Kushner occasionally for White House business.
Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) wrote to Kushner saying they were “concerned to learn of this additional email account from the news media, rather than from you, in your closed staff interview.
Kushner has been under particular scrutiny by lawmaker and FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller during probes into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Kushner was part of a group of Trump campaign officials who met with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower in summer 2016. Donald Trump Jr. later said he took the meeting in the belief that the Russians would offer evidence that would incriminate Hillary Clinton.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.