On Monday night, a new wrinkle was reported with regard to the special counsel and Congressional investigations into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and any potential cooperation from President Donald Trump's campaign.
According to a new report, lawyers for Trump wanted his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, ousted from his White House job.
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, Kushner, who met four times with Russian businesspeople and government officials during the Trump campaign and transition, is “the adviser closest to the president” with that many Russian interactions. Initially, he did not include any meetings with foreign officials on his disclosure forms, in spite of having more than 100 of them.
John Dowd, who has helmed the Trump legal team on Russian matters since June, told the Journal that, “to my knowledge,” Trump was never actually asked about having Kushner removed from his position. Dowd says he was not one of the attorneys making that argument.
“I didn’t agree with that view at all,” he said. “I thought it was absurd. I made my views known.” He added that Kushner is “absolutely terrific” as well as “a great asset, real gentleman, a pleasure to work with.”
Marc Kasowitz, who left the team in July, made similar comments in this statement:
“I never discussed with other lawyers for the President that Jared Kushner should step down from his position at the White House, I never recommended to the President that Mr. Kushner should step down from that position and I am not aware that any other lawyers for the President made any such recommendation either.”
However, in spite of what Dowd said, the article further reports that the topic was broached with Trump in June. It apparently got far enough that the lawyers' communications staff had started working on a press release explaining why Kushner would be leaving. Trump was unmoved, with one source saying he argued that Kushner did nothing wrong, so he should stay.