In the middle of overhauling the federal bureaucracy and negotiating Middle East peace, Trump’s top aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner will reportedly have to squeeze in an appointment with the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions about meetings he set up with Russian officials. The New York Times reports Kushner organized sit-downs with the help of Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition, including at least one between Kushner and the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank, which had been on the U.S. sanctions list since Kremlin encroachment in Ukraine.
The Senate Intel Committee called Kushner in for a hearing as part of its broader investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, something the FBI confirmed last week that it’s also probing. According to the Times, Kushner and Michael Flynn — who resigned as NSA for allegedly misleading Vice-President Mike Pence about the subjects of Flynn’s own discussions with Russian officials — met with Kislyak in December in Trump Tower. They reportedly discussed how to better relations between the U.S. and Russia.
Kislyak apparently asked for another meeting, but Kushner sent a deputy in his stead. And, finally, at the request of Kislyak, Kushner met with Sergey Gorkov, head of the Vnesheconombank, which is on the Ukraine-related sanctions list. The White House confirmed those meetings, and said these gatherings were part of Kushner’s routine outreach to foreign leaders during the transition. But Kushner will tell that to the Senate directly. “He isn’t trying to hide anything and wants to be transparent,” said administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks.