Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, will be called to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the New York Times reports.
The panel is also looking to determine if there are any improper ties between Trump campaign and transition teams and the Russian government, which orchestrated a series of damaging cyberattacks against the Democratic Party last summer, according to U.S. intelligence chiefs.
Kushner, the husband of Ivanka Trump, is one of Trump’s closest advisers and an intermediary between the White House and foreign governments. Trump has said one of Kushner’s primary functions is to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Kushner also serves as head of the White House Office of American Innovation, which was created last month and staffed with business leaders—including Ivanka—reportedly to fix cumbersome bureaucracies within the federal government.
Kusher will be the first person currently working in the White House to be questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee over the administration’s ties with Russian officials—and the closest person to the president to give testimony in any of the investigations so far. He has not been questioned by the FBI, which has been running its own investigation into meetings between Trump associates and Kremlin operatives since last summer.
The Times reports that in addition to meeting Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in early December, Kushner met with Sergey Gorkov, chief of Vnesheconombank, a government-owned bank headquartered in Moscow. The meeting itself does not imply any impropriety, as it was Kushner’s job on the transition team to communicate with foreign officials.
A White House spokesperson told the newspaper in an interview that Kushner had met with dozens of foreign government representatives leading up to Trump’s inauguration. Hope Hicks, a Trump spokeswoman, told NBC News that Kushner volunteered to testify. “He doesn’t have anything to hide,” she said.
Still, the repeated meetings with surrogates of Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout the campaign and after have proven inconvenient for Trump, who forced his first national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, to resign for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the substance of one conversation. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from Russia-related investigations after giving misleading statements during a Senate confirmation hearing that omitted his meeting with Kislyak.