Kushner's attorney accuses Senate panel of 'gotcha game' over documents request
Posted November 19, 2017 2:40 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2017 5:19 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Jared Kushner's lawyer says the Senate Judiciary Committee is playing "gotcha" games by accusing Kushner of not disclosing key documents -- including information about WikiLeaks.
Abbe Lowell, the attorney for President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser, told CNN's Evan Perez that the committee has "jumped the gun" with a letter to Kushner stating that they had not been provided documents about WikiLeaks, a "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite," and communications with Sergei Millian, the president of the US-based Russian American Chamber of Commerce, who The Washington Post reported could be a source in the Trump-Russia dossier.
The backdoor overture cited by the committee refers to another of a series of Russian attempts in 2016 to try to make inroads with the Trump campaign and came by way of a West Virginia man who also sought to arrange for then-candidate Donald Trump to stop by an event on the sidelines of a National Rifle Association convention.
The email chain eventually made its way to Kushner, who rejected the idea, according to Lowell and sources familiar with the exchange. Kushner also warned others in the campaign about dealing with people who he believed exaggerated their connections.
"(I)f you look at the content of these emails, he's the hero," Lowell said of Kushner. "He's the one who's saying there shouldn't be any contact with foreign officials or foreign entities. That's what the Senate Judiciary Committee should pay attention to and not create some sort of partisan gotcha game."
Lowell added that the committee's statements that the Kushner team had not disclosed documents is undermining the panel's credibility, because the team provided documents and added that they could hand over other relevant materials.
"If committees selectively leak parts of interviews or send me letters through the media, or turn Jared Kushner's very clear email that there should be no contacts with anyone in a foreign country into what they call a missing document, then they are undermining their own credibility," Lowell said.
He added: "In my communications with the Senate Judiciary Committee, I said, 'Take these documents, and let's talk about what else is relevant.' They jumped the gun to make a media event."
Lowell said Kushner would cooperate with congressional investigators but didn't make any promises about whether Kushner would give the Senate Judiciary Committee an interview or to provide any additional specific documents the panel is demanding.