BRİAN WILIAMS Jared Kushner deliberately hiding documents

we’ve had no shortage of colorful figures in all of this and I’m going to name another one Rob Goldstone who came across as kind of a Zelig Jackie Gleason character in this when he first surfaced he’s ready to come to the u.s. and talk to Muller what might he know and remind our audience his his slice of this story his role in this story thus far yes Brian and this is great reporting by our colleague Robert wind hram who learned that Rob Goldstone who is a music promoter who was the go-between between the aguillera family these Russian oligarchs and Donald Trump jr. in setting up that 2016 Trump Tower meeting Goldstone was the guy who wrote those very suggestive emails saying that the Russian government is helping your father’s campaign and this lawyer has information from the Crown prosecutor of Russia well there actually is no crown prosecutor but there’s a federal prosecutor and those emails you know set in motion this chain of events where we’re all scrutinizing this meeting and wondering what exactly was provided and there’s been a lot of information since then but what Rob Goldstone may know that very few people others know is exactly how this was set up what was said that we’re not seeing the emails what was said over the phone as these intermediaries were talking to each other and what did the Trump team understand about what was being promised in that meeting and so we believe he’s going to tell his story to Muller and the grand jury chair and ranking member senators Grassley and Feinstein have written to Jared Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell right that’s right saying that his document production is incomplete that they’ve learned of other documents through I would presume emails and other documents that have been turned over by other people that the committee is investigating other witnesses that are cooperating does this mean that Jared Kushner has a document production problem or could this mean that Jared Kushner is facing a development perhaps in one of the other investigations that has him hitting pause on document production for the congressional probes I think there are two significant things about this disclosure nichole one is that yes the committee is clearly unsatisfied with Jared Kushner’s document production they’ve clearly obtained sensitive information from other sources that they feel he and his lawyer Abbey Lowell should have disclosed but the other significant thing is the substance of what they’re saying he should have disclosed one of which involved emails involving a Russian back-channel overture now as you can imagine we’re furiously reporting trying to figure out exactly what that was but it suggests that there is another attempt by Russians to you know to get a high-level meeting or make some kind of infiltration into the Trump campaign that has yet to be disclosed the goal and that if that proves out would be what the tenth contact between the Trump campaign and Russians or is it possible that that’s the one that has previously been reported on that took place during the transition where Jared allegedly was amenable or sought to set up a back-channel with the Russians during the presidential transition I’ve lost count but I think if this is this might be a different thing but but the bottom line is you’re right you know this is a pattern involving mr. Kushner where you know if you’ll recall he he failed to list foreign contacts on a security clearance form then had to amend them three different times and those included some very significant contacts with Russians including that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting some breaking news NBC reporting on a previously undisclosed meeting between Jared Kushner and a Putin ally now this was first hinted at in a letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee to Kushner’s lawyer which we reported on earlier this week asking for emails that had apparently not been properly disclosed about a quote Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite that Kushner allegedly shared with a campaign official now all of this relates to a Putin ally named Alexander tortion he’s a banker and he has been alleged to have links to Russian organized crime NBC’s Ken Delaney and part of the team breaking the story and I’m also joined by global editorial director for Huffington Post Howard Fineman and former federal prosecutor and a current candidate for Illinois Attorney General Renato Mario D a mouthful of panelists introductions and a mouthful of a story can I want to begin with you explaining why this matters and then give you the chance to explain the other piece to this which is that Kushner may have known more about WikiLeaks contacts than he admitted under oath in his interviews with Congress sure Ari well as you can imagine as soon as the Senate Judiciary Committee said that there had been a Russian backdoor overture that Jared Kushner failed to disclose we all set about trying to report on what exactly that was and the answer finally emerged from sources today that it involved this character Alexander tortion who is a the deputy head of the Russian central bank and also has been accused by Spanish prosecutors of having mob ties now he denies this and the interesting thing why I think this matters is because according to the to our reporting Kushner ended up rejecting the idea of a meeting with this guy but then he shows up at a private dinner with Donald Trump jr. at a National Rifle Association event back in May 2016 around the time all these emails were happening so he did apparently he did succeed in infiltrating his way into the Trump inner circle and this is a guy who’s close to Vladimir Putin and you know who has these alleged criminal ties that he denies what’s also important about this is that Kushner failed to disclose this according to the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to disclose that he was on this email chain so it’s another in a in the latest round of to ciose your problems with editors and WikiLeaks and now the one WikiLeaks Jared Kushner was asked in his testimony to the congressional committees whether he was aware of any contacts any campaign contacts with WikiLeaks and he said not that I know of but we know from the reporting in the Atlantic confirmed to us by sources today that Don Jr forwarded an email to him about his contacts with WikiLeaks on Twitter and Jared Kushner forwarded that on to hold right so and this is you know whether or not on this because Renato this is the where there is a big difference between testimonial forgetfulness and evidentiary forgetfulness and I’m not just speaking that way because I want to be as annoying as possible I’m speaking that way because lawyers know that it is possible as Jared as your Kushner has said and others have said well I get so many emails I didn’t remember it I don’t remember it on the spot if you want to be kind you can give benefited it out to that testimonial forgetfulness but walk us through from your view as a prosecutor and one who’s handled a lot of these matters why it looks so much worse with email because you’re not on the spot you have a team of lawyers that can go through all the email are supposed to 4 come over well that’s right so look in terms of answering questions in front of Congress one of the questions that I get from folks on Twitter all the time is hey how do they keep saying I forget this I don’t recall that how do they get away with that and that the truth is is that in order you know while it’s a crime to to testify falsely before Congress or to lie even to an FBI agent you have to prove that the person knowingly and willfully did so so for example you know if he if he says I didn’t you know if he told Congress I did not communicate with WikiLeaks or I don’t believe anyone in the campaign did and now you can see that he was forwarded to the DMS he can say look I forgot I get it like you said a million emails I totally forgot and the government would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt so you talked about doubt a minute ago beyond a reasonable doubt they’d have to prove that he knowingly and willfully was lying when he made that statement whereas if if the the on the other side you were talking about re you know if you’re disclosing if you fail to disclose emails that you do have on that’s gonna raise a lot more questions because as you point out you have a team of lawyers Jared Kushner is able to afford and has hired some really high-powered lawyers to look through this stuff and so it’s it’s gonna be very hard for them to explain why they did not produce documents that were requested by Congress now I don’t know bring Howard in then Howard the other guys got big questions you get you know you get the simplest one no fan thank you but you know there’s a thing called control F and you could control F for WikiLeaks and make sure if you’re looking for it that it exists on any of the documents and hand them over the Congress if they asked for him why don’t you walk us through how Chuck Grassley got mad enough about about this to be involved because he’s a Republican I don’t think he’s gonna be just willy-nilly about this no and when when congressional committees especially ones with subpoena power and and investigative duties on the hill ask for documents they want the documents and you either produced them or you don’t produce them it’s it’s it’s it’s not as fuzzy as you were saying about recollection there there are subpoenas that you can you can issue for documents and and that’s really what’s at stake here but the larger picture is we see increasingly numbers of areas where the investigators both on the hill and and Bob Muller are looking at areas of possible collusion you’ve got that meeting at the Trump Tower you’ve got the relations with WikiLeaks which is presumed to be a Russian front and has been called so by the American intelligence agencies you’ve got Jared Kushner increasingly looking as a a center of traffic if you will of possible Russian connections and you’ve got the campaign meetings you remember Papadopoulos talking about that campaign meeting in the other week so this is like a disease that’s spreading in different areas and you look for the hot spots and Miller and the other investigators have many more of them now than we knew about a month or two ago so speaking on that then can you hear all this what is the what is the plan moving forward then on the congressional investigation side with this issue well they want Jared Christian to come back up and testify and explain what you’re saying they want Jared Kushner in a way they didn’t before to come back that’s how big this is oh yeah absolutely no these this is a big discrepancy on the WikiLeaks thing and also on the on the disclosure issue and and there’s I’ve heard from a lot of people who really want him to explain in particular his is his testimony on WikiLeaks how he could say that he was not aware of any contacts between WikiLeaks in the campaign all right and Howard I mean sometimes you have an extra meeting with someone because you miss them you want to see him again but this is a little different than that yes and and again it’s about how come you didn’t produce the stuff you were supposed to produce and and that’s crucial and as you know as a lawyer when you when you when you ask for documents you either turn the documents over or you don’t if later people find documents that you didn’t turn over that is a much more clear-cut case of lack of cooperation with investigators than a lack of memory we’re not oh final thought sure you know I think I suspect Kushner is gonna be able to get off the hook with Congress in terms of criminal or or more serious liability but they should be asking questions and if your Senators are not you need to you need to be pressuring them to do so because it’s pretty outrageous day 302 of the Trump administration brings new indications that Jared Kushner the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law arguably the closest man to the president in the West Wing appears to have been telling less than the whole truth when it comes to the campaign’s contacts with Russian officials settle in this is involved new reporting tonight from two of our own Kendall a nyan and Carol Lee of NBC News it says Kushner did not reveal an attempt to reach out to the Trump campaign from a Russian banker who is close to President Vladimir Putin and who has been accused of having ties to organized crime this comes just one day after the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Kushner a letter saying that he had failed to turn over documents to the committee requested last month among those missing documents communications concerning a Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite that’ll get your attention NBC News reports that the overture and invite relate to a series of emails from the aforementioned Russian banker fella by the name of Alexander tortion who wanted then candidate Donald Trump to attend an event on the sidelines of the NRA convention may 2016 our report goes on quote the email also suggests tortion was seeking to meet with a high-level Trump campaign official during the convention and that he may have had a message for Trump from Putin sources said Jared Kushner turned down this request and tonight his lawyer Abbe Lowell in a letter to Senate Judiciary included Kushner’s response at the time forgive me pass on this a lot of people come claiming to carry messages very few we were able to verify for now I think we declined such meetings most likely these people then go back home and claim they have special access to gain importance for themselves be careful but Bloomberg News reported earlier this year that Alexander tortion did meet with Donald Trump Junior during a private dinner on the sidelines of the aforementioned NRA convention in Louisville Bloomberg also reported a source familiar with that encounter says Trump jr. doesn’t recall meeting tortion so far the White House has not responded to any of tonight’s reporting but before we break all this down here is Jared Kushner from this summer this came after he met with Senate investigators and remember as you watch this he raised eyebrows for speaking from a lectern with the White House seal on the front and standing in front of the West Wing the record and documents I have praval antara Lee provided will show that all of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign I did not collude with Russia nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so I had no improper contacts and I have been fully transparent in providing all requested information let us bring in our leadoff panel for a Friday night Ken Delaney an NBC News intelligence and national security reporter as we mentioned one of the bye lines on our lead story tonight Carrie Cordero is back with us former senior associate general counsel for the Director of National Intelligence the DNI who is these days at georgetown law and eli stokeley’s is back with us as well White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal and an MSNBC political analyst okay mr. Delaney Ann thanks to you we have another Russian name to throw on the pile and now get forced to memorize break this down for us and what is being alleged here Brian I think you did a terrific job of laying it out for us and what I think the significance of this is really twofold one it’s another example of Jared Kushner being accused of failing to disclose of failing to be forthright about his Russian contacts recall that he had to amend his financial disclosure forms to disclose contacts that he initially left off including that famous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting well now he’s being admonished for failing to turn over these documents that show an approach by Alexander tortion seeking a high-level his lawyer responds while we rejected the approach so that’s exculpatory but still congressional investigators are wondering why didn’t you come clean about in the first place but then secondly it’s the substance of this as you as you well laid out yes torsion didn’t get the meeting with Kushner but he got a meeting according to him with Donald Trump jr. and very little is known actually Brian about the circumstances of how that meeting came to be what was said I’m told that congressional investigators are very interested in it but bottom line it’s another high-level Russian with ties to Vladimir Putin who was circling around this campaign seeking a high-level meeting proposing a meeting between Trump and Putin another thing that is causing congressional investigators and presumably Robert Muller to take a hard look so Kerry Cordero is it because there have been so many misses and so many attempts to go back and correct the record and so many deletions that this doesn’t break as more exculpatory or good news for the client here in this case Jared Kushner well so the one response that he had I mean certainly that’s in his favor a little bit that he that he rejected that particular overture at least according to that one email that’s been reported but it is a problem that not only Kushner but we saw this with attorney general sessions earlier in the week that they constantly are having to correct the record in terms of the information that they are providing to congressional investigators at least and yet we know also that another member of the Trump campaign Papadopoulos has been charged with lying to federal investigators so this entire group they have a truth-telling problem or a problem at the very least of being forthcoming and in that summer press conference that Jared Kushner had he specifically said I had no improper contacts and so that does raise the question as to did he know at the time this summer when he made that statement that others in the campaign may have Eli stock holes a couple questions for you number one this is going to seem superficial but when Jared Kushner made those remarks people in the White House advanced community in the media community even in the white house staff were surprised because he gave himself the imprimatur of the White House with the lectern with the backdrop with the marine guard opening the door I remember contemporaneously people that night saying be sure what you say here is correct right and that is sort of something we’ve seen from this White House of a number of people just worrying about that moment declaring that everything is fine no collusion we heard sessions testify months ago say the same thing I think Kerry is exactly right to draw that line from sessions to Kushner and it and to others in this administration who have emphatically denied any collusion any contact and then there’s been reports of a lot of contact and they suddenly remember sessions said the other day it was a chaotic campaign the clip you played of Jared Kushner standing in front of the White House said during a unique campaign I forget the verbage exactly but it was the same thing there’s this idea that well it was a little crazy you can’t expect us to remember everything and that’s just not good enough I don’t think for Bob mower and let me borrow a page from our mutual friend Nicole Wallace here we are talking about whether a given memo or an email is exculpatory good news or bad for Jared Kushner Nicole always comes back as a White House veteran herself I didn’t know this many Russians lived in the United States we’re swimming in Russians well and that’s why they probably I mean the the what Abby Lowell said in a letter today that we’ve all reported now is look there were a bunch of people a bunch of names on this list this was before there was any idea that Russia was going mean this whole investigation is about Russia so it’s just a little fatuous to sit there and say oh we didn’t really think this was relevant to the investigation it just doesn’t it fits a pattern of sort of just not I wouldn’t call it obstruction but just not being fully forthcoming and that’s why cushion I got a letter this week saying do we have all the things because if you’re not sending us all the things that we’ve subpoenaed you’re going to be in trouble new indications now and today in fact that senior White House adviser Jared Kushner the president’s son-in-law hasn’t been telling the full truth to congressional investigators when it comes to the campaign’s contacts with Russian officials in a letter yesterday to Kushner’s lawyer the Senate Judiciary Committee said the cushion has failed to turn over documents that their committee requested last month among the missing documents are quote communications to mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks as well as documents concerning a Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite well now in a late-breaking story tonight NBC News is reporting tonight that the undisclosed Russian overture involved a banker who has been accused of links to Russian organized crime and that’s according to three sources familiar with the matter a series of emails described requests from Alexander tortion a former Russian senator enclosed Putin a light who wanted Trump to attend an event he was organizing on the sidelines of an NRA a National Rifle Association event out in May of 2016 while according to NBC News the email also suggests tortion was seeking to meet with a high-level Trump campaign official during the convention and that he may have had a message from Trump or Trump from Putin the sources said well well I could have rebuffed the request tortion told Lou Berg that he dined with Donald Trump jr. and a private dinner on the sidelines of an NRA event and joining right now is Cara Lee investigative reporter with NBC News and Paul Butler he’s a former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Cara Lee thank you for joining us put this together and how does this support that it does apparently a support the idea that Kushner is not being clear clean with it with the investigators but does it suggest more so that he was colluding that someone was colluding with the Russians or not well what it suggests is or shows is that Kushner did not disclose this email which was essentially a series of email exchanges between a campaign official and somebody acting on behalf of this Russian banker and in which they’re saying he wants to have some sort of meeting or contact around this NRA convention that is exchanges forwarded to Kushner and a handful of other senior campaign officials and we are told that Kushner replied saying take a pass on this and on any future sorts of requests along these lines the problem that the committee has with this is that this turned up in their request for documents from other officials and Kushner himself didn’t disclose it now the problem for Kushner in terms of was this any sort of collusion you know I think it would argue that he dismissed his dismissive of this and that the email would show he’s dismissive of this what it does bring as a question about is Don jr. and whether you know if Kushner rejected this suggestion to have some sort of meeting along the sidelines of this NRA convention then he in this individual then went and told Bloomberg that he had privately dined with Donald Trump jr. how did that come to be and should note that in that Bloomberg story that was reported earlier this year someone acting on behalf of Donald Trump jr. said that he doesn’t recall that as being the same that he recalls me meeting a Russian but he doesn’t know if it was this specific person well Donald Trump is to me the notorious for going over to Africa and killing big-game for picture taking purposes for photo ops but he does seem to have a pattern of vulnerability to the other side putting together it wasn’t he the one that was at the meeting in Trump Tower with the Russians is he sort of this soft underbelly of the Trump team of the Trump family where they go to him because he’s not quite as tough thinking as the rest of the family about what he’s up to I’m trying to be nice well based on on what we know and you know we don’t know everything in fact we probably know a lot less than there then there is and certainly Robert Muller knows but based on what we know there are a number of increasing questions that are being raised around the president’s son and this is just another one and I think that he’s there’s going to be Cui’s gonna have to answer questions about what was this dinner you know did it happen how did it happen how did it happen when the president’s son-in-law apparently said that nobody should take any sort of meeting along these lines and so you know we do seem to learn a little bit more and more about who Donald Trump jr. as this goes on Paul how do you see this case is this one of these cases like Billy Carter you know the brothers brother wasn’t – there’s only of presidential family members I’ve watched this for you decades now that gets the president in trouble Sam Houston Johnson was a problem they all seem to have a brother or somebody involved gets them into trouble and then there’s also the cases we see in local problems in cases where the the father gets the son brought into the corruption or the wife brought into it horrible cases what’s it what’s the line of authority here is it the softer underbelly in the form of Donald Jr who gets invited this stuff and thinks he’s helping dad out but he doesn’t know what he’s up to or is it he’s being designated to be the front man by their father what’s going on here you know it’s certainly something that prosecutors exploit so Muller’s being kind of cold-blooded with regard to Michael Flynn’s son he’s a I’m kind of like tough investigation may bring him up on charges again not so much he’s because he cares about Michael Flynn jr. but because he wants to get dad so again if we find the special counsel Muller honing in on Kushner the son-in-law and Donald Trump jr. at the end of the day it’s all about the big guy because Kris again it’s not just that all these Trump operatives are meeting with these shady Russian operatives it’s then they fail to disclose so we have custard Trump jr. sessions Flynn George papadopolis there comes a point where failure to disclose becomes willfully withholding evidence becomes a lie becomes a cover-up that’s a cry let’s go to Carol in that same point you’ve been covering this and it seems to me that it is a case of a creeping investigation whereby he tries that mower and his team find cases where laws have been broken that normally wouldn’t be so important when they were broken but in this case create opportunities for the prosecutors to squeeze yeah that’s actually absolutely right you what you’ve seen is you know using things like that you know registering for fara which you know nobody has would think that that wasn’t something that was regularly foreign agency foreign agents Registration Act you some people haven’t it’s good so normally if somebody failed to do that it would be sort of a misdemeanor and worse but in this case it could be used to to lever the truth from people that don’t want to give you the truth otherwise right because if you’re going to really enforce that you know it could carry some significant penalties so so we’ve seen Robert Muller tape you know look at using things like that to try to squeeze I mean the whole thing the whole goal here seems to be to just get some of these you know lower level not level and by that I mean you know outer rungs away from the president folks to just to find some compel them to somehow flip and when you are taken to one way to do that is to take these sort of things like registering as a foreign agent that weren’t necessarily enforced in a lot and and basically enforce them they’re back with more on the latest in this Russia investigation this time focusing on two people in the Trump administration the communications director twenty nine-year-old hope Hicks and the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner about Kushner the New York Times headline is this Jared Kushner failed to hand over documents about WikiLeaks and a Russian backdoor overture today the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Kushner’s lawyer a letter saying documents he gave them relating to the Russia investigation are incomplete senators Grassley and Feinstein also wrote that they’d received several documents from other Trump campaign officials copied or forwarded to Kushner which he did not provide those include quote September 2016 email communications to mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks which mr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official and documents concerning that so-called Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite which mr. mr. Kushner also forwarded the senators also requested Kushner’s correspondence with former national security adviser Mike Flynn ABI lo Kushner’s lawyer responded in a statement quote mr. Kushner and we have been responsive to all requests we provided the Judiciary Committee with all relevant documents that had to do with mr. Kushner’s calls contacts or meetings with Russians during the pane and transition which was the request and tonight political reports quote special counsel Robert Mulder’s team is preparing to interview the woman who’s seen it all communications director hope Hicks the report adds that Muller’s decision to request an interview with Hicks who hasn’t been named in any criminal wrongdoing also indicates he has reached a critical point in the overall investigation according to former prosecutors that was a lot but we had to lay out the parameters here and still with us Ken Vogel Andy Carney and mica o yang Annie I would like to begin with you on hope Hicks who as far as I can tell is somewhere between Zelig and Clark Clifford 29 years old comes from I think old Greenwich Connecticut started life as a fashion model for Ralph Lauren and others ended up in the marketing wing of the Trump family but has been with that man and this presidential effort since it was embryonic and remains the insiders insider what kind of exposure is she going to have now legally she has a lot she’s been at Trump’s side for a lot of russia-related moments but one thing that I think has really come up this week is her the emails that had been forward to her throughout this process we found out this week that Jared Kushner after Don jr. Donald Trump jr. communicated with WikiLeaks he forwarded an email about that communication to Jared Kushner who forwarded it to hoe pics the question is is he forwarding her that email in her role as spokesperson for the campaign or as he forwarded her as a this is for Trump sighs and it’s the latter that people think is why she’s a particular interest to Muller’s team that a lot of communication that went through hope was there because she’s supposed to show it to the president so what hope sees can be interpreted as what Donald Trump sees so that makes her even more important but she’s been at his side she’s been in the room she has no privileged relationship with the president so she is a critical witness for Moeller’s team if she is and everyone I’ve talked to expects her to be Ken Vogel same question regarding the exposure of mr. Kushner yeah I mean there’s a commonality obviously Kushner has huge exposure and both the way the interactions that he’s had with different folks affiliated with Russia include up to and including the Russian ambassador but also his handling of this inquiry and the shifts in his stories and the holes in the documents that he’s produced and that’s why it’s so important Brian that the the Muller is subpoenaing these documents from the campaign and that the Senate Judiciary Committee is going back to Kushner and saying hey we were able to turn up things from other people’s document production that show that there are holes in what you produced here and so the wider the dragnet the more opportunity there is to be able to sort of pit individual stories or documents against other individuals documents and to find discrepancies or to find holes in it Jared Kushner is one guy in this investigation in particular who has been sort of at the center of a lot of these inconsistencies and a lot of these holes and it’s you know it’s becoming increasingly apparent that he is you know not that they’re not only you know looking at the ways in which his story differs from those of others about looking at the centrality of his position when it comes to the handling of by the administration of the investigation with an eye towards possibly building an obstruction of justice case Mika o yang one of your fellow Washington attorneys Abbi law was retained by Jared Kushner you don’t hire Abby Lowell to fight at racket and traffic ticket or get your security deposit back you hire Abby Lowell for exactly this but having said that it can’t charm the mulher forces how many times we’ve read how many times it’s been reported that Kushner and his legal team have either withheld small W not capital items have gone back and changed submissions they’ve made or they’ve been questioned about an incomplete submission that could be a tough aspect of this I think that’s right and you have to remember Jared Kushner has changed his legal team a number of times throughout this but each time he still is coming up short and information right he had to amend his security clearance forms a number of times were not sure even now if they’re complete he’s not been forthcoming when giving information over to the Senate Judiciary Committee I’m not sure that his lawyers are as thorough as they shouldn’t be in a case like this or there’s a serious question about whether or not he’s deliberately holding back and he is trying to obstruct these investigations either way I think it’s really troubling and it doesn’t speak well of this lead

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