Wyden Criticizes Kushner’s ‘Lawyerly’ Comments, Wants Him Questioned in Public

By Susan Jones | July 25, 2017 | 6:55am EDT
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wants Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner to testify in public. (Screen grab from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show)

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says it’s not enough for Jared Kushner to speak to the intelligence committee in private.

“It is imperative that the public hear Jared Kushner testify in an open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee, under oath, and support his claims with full transparency in the form of emails, documents and financial records,” Wyden said in a statement issued on Monday, following Kushner's appearance before the committee.

On Monday night, Wyden told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Kushner’s explanation of his contacts with various Russians, released on Monday, raises more questions than it answers:

Rachel, as you know, I have focused in this investigation on the follow-the-money issues. And he made some very careful, very lawyerly like comments. 

For example, he said he didn't rely on Russian financing for his businesses. He didn't say I have no business dealings with the Russians. He didn't say I have never received Russian investments. 

And the lawyering obviously was very clever but his responses were incomplete. And as far as I'm concerned, this is just the beginning of the questioning. We've got to have him in the open so that the American people can see him questioned by senators of both parties. 

Wyden said he also wants to hear from Donald Trump Jr. about his June 2016 meeting with a person described to Don Jr. as a Russian government lawyer.

“My own view is, that was an attempt to collude,” Wyden said. “And if you look at his e-mails, if you look at his own admissions, clearly there is much explaining to do. And my own view is that the president has almost gone from saying there is no collusion to saying, so what.” 

Asked what recourse Congress may have if President Trump tries to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Wyden said “impeachment.”

“My own view is if the president fires Bob Mueller without cause, that is going to trigger a constitutional crisis and I think all options would have to be on the table.”

Wyden said “all options” means he would rule out nothing: “As you know, the House has already begun -- a number of members -- to have discussions about impeachment," he told Maddow.

Kushner, Trump's top aide and son-in-law, will speak to the House intelligence committee in private on Tuesday.

President Trump tweeted early Tuesday: "Jared Kushner did very well yesterday in proving he did not collude with the Russians. Witch Hunt. Next up, 11 year old Barron Trump!"

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