White House Lawyers Wanted Trump to Dump Kushner Over Russia Investigation

Reports say that in light of Russia probe, group of lawyers pushed Trump to see his son-in-law step out of White House role during the summer

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Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner in the White House on Sep 7, 2017.
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner in the White House on Sep 7, 2017.Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

A group of White House lawyers pushed for Jared Kushner to step down from his position as Donald Trump's senior aide as probes into the Trump election campaign ties with Russia intensified this summer, a report in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal claimed.

Trump was encouraged to reconsider his son-in-law's role, the reports said, citing lawyers' fears of the legal implications for the president, as well as Kushner's ability to fulfill his role in light of investigations.

Although the suggestion that Kushner step away was eventually turned down, White House lawyer Ty Cobb referenced the group of lawyers as "among the president's most trusted, competent, selfless and intelligent advisers."

Kushner was one of the Trump campaign officials who participated in a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who, according to emails uncovered by the New York Times, offered to give the Trump campaign "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate in the 2016 election. Kushner did not mention the meeting when filing paperwork for obtaining his security clearance. He also failed to mention meetings with Russian officials, including Russia's former ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. 

There were other actors in the White House who hoped Kushner would be benched—among them chief strategist Steve Bannon, who upon leaving his post at the White House said he would "go nuclear" on "West Wing Democrats" including Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.

In Kushner's July 24 statements to the U.S. Congress regarding his relationship with Russian officials, he stated that he "did not collude, nor [did he] know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded with any foreign government." Current investigation by the FBI into Kushner's interactions with the Russian ambassador and a Moscow banker during the presidential campaign are ongoing.

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