As Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller waits to announce his next indictments in the Donald Trump Russia collusion case, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has long been suspected to be among Mueller’s targets, found himself in trouble again on Thursday when two top U.S. senators accused him of hiding important emails that described possible “backdoor” communications with Russia, as well as contacts between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.
Perhaps more importantly, Kushner also concealed email communications with Sergei Millian, the head of a shadowy organization known as the “Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA,” but which at one time gave its address as Millian’s own apartment in the Astoria section of Queens, New York.
The contacts with Millian, which Kushner is accused of hiding, could prove significant because the mysterious Millian was named as a friend by former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, according to a report earlier this month by the Daily Caller.
But Millian also claims close ties with Trump himself, even posting a picture of himself with Trump on his personal Facebook page. That photo can be seen below, though the authenticity of the image has not been determined.
And in what could be the most significant detail about Kushner’s email contacts with Millian, in the form of emails forwarded to Kushner from other Trump campaign officials, Millian is widely believed to be a major source of information for the “Steele Dossier,” the private intelligence document alleging deep Trump-Russia ties compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
Millian appears to the left in the above Facebook photo. Through his lawyer, Michael Cohen, Trump has denied knowing Millian. Cohen has branded Millian, whose real name is reportedly Siarhei Kukuts, “a phony.” Another photo of Millian can be viewed at this link. A video of Millian in an interview with ABC News can be viewed below on this page.
According to an ABC News report in January of 2017, Millian was the source for the most headline-grabbing allegation in the Steele Dossier, the “pee tape” story — alleging that Trump hired prostitutes to perform a “golden shower” urination show for him in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, sent a letter to Kushner’s lawyer on Thursday, after Kushner had produced a number of documents requested by the committee relating to his role in the campaign’s Russia contacts. In the letter, the two senators accused Kushner of turning over an “incomplete” trove of documents.
“Other parties have produced September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks, which Мr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official…. Other parties have produced documents concerning а ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ which Mr. Kushner also forwarded. And still others have produced communications with Sergei Millian, copied to Mr. Kushner,” Grassley and Feinstein wrote in their letter, which may be accessed in its entirety at this link. “Again, these do not appear in Mr. Kushner’s production despite being responsive to the second request.”
Papadopoulos was charged by Mueller with lying to FBI agents, and took a guilty plea for a potentially reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation with Mueller’s Russia investigation. The lies he told, according to court documents, involved his own Russia contacts. It was Papadopoulos who repeatedly pushed the Trump campaign — and on one reported occasion Trump himself — to use his contacts to set meetings between the campaign and Russian officials, and even a one-on-one meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-candidate Trump.
While the significance of the Sergei Millian emails hidden by Kushner remains unclear, they could shed light on why the previously obscure, then-29-year-old Papadopoulos was hired as a campaign foreign policy adviser in the first place. In addition to repeatedly pushing the campaign to set up Russia meetings, Papadopoulos made multiple trips to Greece, apparently on behalf of the campaign, and gave an interview to a Russian news agency in September of 2016 in which he discussed economic sanctions against Russia, dismissing them as effectively useless.
Last week, former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean predicted that Kushner would be among Mueller’s upcoming indictments. The indictments would be for “money laundering,” the former Vermont Senator said.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]