Kushner: I Faked Call to Get Out of Dumb Russia Meeting
President's son-in-law releases statement ahead of congressional testimony
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2017 6:28 AM CDT
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event with President Trump in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – Jared Kushner appears before not one but two congressional panels this week in regard to his contacts with Russian officials, but he makes the case in a statement released Monday morning that he doesn't have much of value to offer. "I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," he writes of four meetings he had with Russian officials, per Politico. "I had no improper contacts." In the 11-page statement (read it in full here), he describes the now-famous meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer as a waste of time. In "looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work, I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote 'Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.'"

Kushner appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee at 10am Monday and follows up with an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, and both sessions will be behind closed doors. Kushner will not be under oath, but the Washington Post reports that he is still putting himself at risk because any statement he makes could be used against him later by criminal prosecutors. Kushner is not expected to take the Fifth Amendment, and the panels are expected to turn over his testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller. If he does somehow incriminate himself, however, one legal analyst says he's got a backup: “No one who has paid any attention to this administration should doubt that if Kushner ever needs a pardon, he will get one."

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