According to a new report by the Washington Post, last July leaders of the Republican and Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee informed the Justice Department that they had reason to believe that several people close to Donald Trump, including his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and former adviser Steve Bannon, misled them during testimony in the committee’s Russia investigation.
The senators contacted the Justice Department in a letter back in July of 2019. In the letter the lawmakers add a list of concerns that members sent to special counsel Robert Mueller about the Russia investigation and testimony that was given about it.
It is unclear at this time if the Senate Intelligence Committees suspicions about testimony given amounted to any other investigations. Red flags during the Russia investigation were common, but often not investigated.
“I have no reason to believe there is any investigation of Bannon by any law enforcement authority. If the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a referral to DOJ, they never informed us.
And DOJ has not contacted us about any referral by anyone,” Bannon’s attorney William Burck recently told CNN.
Lawyers representing Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks, who is also mentioned in the lawmaker’s letter, refused to give comment on Sunday.
In the letter the Senate Intelligence Committee referred to several other Trump contacts’ testimonies to the Justice Department. The others mentioned in the communication include campaign adviser Sam Clovis and conservative operative Erik Prince.
“Erik Prince’s testimony has been public for years, and was available at all times that Mr. Prince met with the Department of Justice during the Special Counsel’s investigation,” said Matthew L. Schwartz, a lawyer for Prince.
“Mr. Prince cooperated completely with the Special Counsel’s investigation, as its report demonstrates. When members of the House Intelligence committee made a criminal referral more than a year ago, it unsurprisingly went nowhere.
If members of the Senate likewise made a referral — which we don’t know anything about — there would be nothing new for the Department of Justice to consider, nor is there any reason to question the Special Counsel’s decision to credit Mr. Prince and rely on him in drafting its report.”
Mueller’s team wrapped up their investigation in the spring of 2019. Several witnesses were questioned about the dealings of Bannon, Clovis, Prince and others. FBI memorandum that documented the interviews and were released by CNN and Buzzfeed indicated that those individuals were still under investigation.
In his investigation Mueller documented extensive contact between Trump’s campaign advisors with Russia.
To this day much of the Justice Department’s attention continues to focus on unidentified open cases related to the investigation. After Mueller’s departed Attorney General William Barr interfered in two major cases of Mueller’s against Roger Stone and Michael Flynn to “soften them” and brought in new leadership at the DC US Attorney’s Office and the Southern District of New York. A post-Mueller probe to question intelligence used in the early Russia investigation has been launched.