Some of President Trump’s lawyers urged him to fire Jared Kushner as White House senior adviser earlier this year in an effort to curb the potential legal complications stemming from the ongoing Russia investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that several of Trump’s attorneys were worried about Kushner’s various meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, and went as far as approaching the president about it.
The concerns were serious enough for aides of Trump’s legal team to draft a statement in anticipation of having to explain why the president’s son-in-law was leaving the White House.
The statement, written on Kushner’s behalf, blamed a “toxic” political environment for his departure, lamenting that a standard meeting was being used as a “weapon for Mr. Trump’s critics,” two people familiar with the documents told the Journal.
The June 16 meeting — also attended by Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — was, apparently, “a central concern of Trump’s lawyers.”
Both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators are looking into the meeting. Trump Jr. was interviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s staff last week for five hours.
John Dowd, who’s been heading Trump’s legal team since June, told the WSJ that, to his knowledge, the proposal wasn’t taken to the president and that he didn’t agree with his colleagues who thought Kushner needed to go.
The president’s legal team also had issues with Kushner’s federal disclosure forms, which he updated several times, adding more than 100 names of foreign individuals he has had contact with.