By David Morgan and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is cooperating with a wide-ranging probe by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee into Trump and possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power.
Just hours earlier, a lawyer for Trump adviser Roger Stone said in a letter seen by Reuters that Stone was not cooperating with the same committee and cited his right to avoid self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The contrasting responses to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s probe targeting 81 individuals and groups came on the same day the Justice Department announced the completion of a report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Trump and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [nL1N2191QR]
As a cloud of legal risk darkened over Trump, he was spending the weekend at his private club Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Kushner submitted documents to Nadler’s panel on Thursday in response to a wave of document requests sent by the committee on March 4, the knowledgeable person said.
Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell, who received the committee’s document request, was not immediately available for comment.
Democrats in the House of Representatives have launched numerous inquiries into Trump, his presidency, his family and his business interests. The Mueller investigation has been focused on the election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow in its effort to sway U.S. voters in Trump’s favor.
Although Mueller’s report is finished, its contents were not yet known late on Friday. Details were expected soon.
Russia has denied U.S. intelligence agencies’ findings that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 campaign. Trump has denied any collusion and dismissed Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt.”
Among the Judiciary Committee’s aims are determining if Trump obstructed justice by ousting perceived enemies at the Justice Department and abused his power by possibly offering pardons or tampering with witnesses.
It was not clear how much material Kushner provided to the committee. But investigators sought documents from him on more than two dozen topics. Those topics ranged from a June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to any Trump transition team contacts with Russia.
Stone’s lawyer Grant Smith said in the letter to Nadler that Stone faces federal criminal charges and that it “is not in Mr. Stone’s best interest” to participate in any other proceedings.
Stone was arrested in January and charged with lying to Congress about the 2016 Trump campaign’s efforts to use stolen emails to undercut Clinton. Stone declared himself innocent hours after a team of FBI agents raided his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. [nL1N2110RA]
Smith called Nadler’s demand for documents a “fishing expedition request.” Stone, who is under a gag order from the judge hearing his criminal case, had no comment.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Mark Hosenball, Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Rosalba O’Brien)