American Bridge Vice President Shripal Shah released the following statement on the bombshell report from NBC News, citing notes taken by then Trump campaign Chair Paul Manafort, that donations and the RNC were discussed at the June 2016 meeting between the Trump campaign and an alleged Russian government attorney.
“The evidence uncovered in this report is at odds with Jared Kushner’s testimony before Congress where he alleged this meeting was about adoption policy, not the campaign. It doesn’t take a federal prosecutor to figure out one of them is lying, and with the evidence now suggesting Kushner wasn’t telling the whole story, he may have committed a federal crime. If that’s the case, he must be held accountable.”
Manafort’s Notes From The Trump Tower Meeting Mention “Donations” And The Republican National Committee. According to NBC News, “Paul Manafort’s notes from a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign included the word ‘donations,’ near a reference to the Republican National Committee, two sources briefed on the evidence told NBC News. The references, which have not been previously disclosed, elevated the significance of the June 2016 meeting for congressional investigators, who are focused on determining whether it included any discussion of donations from Russian sources to either the Trump campaign or the Republican Party.” [NBC News, 8/31/17]
Kushner Testified That The Trump Tower Meeting Was About Adoption. According to Jared Kushner’s statement to Congressional Committees, “The only other Russian contact during the campaign is one I did not recall at all until I was reviewing documents and emails in response to congressional requests for information. In June 2016, my brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. asked if I was free to stop by a meeting on June 9 at 3:00 p.m. The campaign was headquartered in the same building as his office in Trump Tower, and it was common for each of us to swing by the other’s meetings when requested. He eventually sent me his own email changing the time of the meeting to 4:00 p.m. That email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time. As I did with most emails when I was working remotely, I quickly reviewed on my iPhone the relevant message that the meeting would occur at 4:00 PM at his office. Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as ‘Meeting: Don Jr.| Jared Kushner.’ No one else was mentioned. I arrived at the meeting a little late. When I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children. I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting. Reviewing emails recently confirmed my memory that the meeting was a waste of our time and that, 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.’” [Statement Of Jared C. Kushner To Congressional Committees, 7/24/17]
If Kushner Lied To Congress, It Would Be A Federal Crime. According to the New York Times, “The decision to release the statement, and to appear voluntarily before Congress, is a clear strategy to try to navigate a political storm. His meetings with a Russian ambassador, lawyer and banker have prompted questions about his honesty, and calls from Democrats to deny him access to classified information. By being the first member of Mr. Trump’s campaign inner circle to speak to congressional investigators, he was able to shape the narrative with his version of a still murky chain of events. But Monday’s moves were not without legal risk. Though he was not under oath when he spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee, lying to Congress is a federal crime. His public statement was frequently unequivocal, leaving him little room to maneuver if new evidence emerges to contradict his story.” [New York Times, 7/24/17]