A letter sent to the attorney for White House advisor Jared Kushner by the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday suggests Michael Flynn could be the next Trump associate to be prosecuted, a former Whitewater prosecutor told CNBC.
In addition to “all communications to, coming from, or copied” to Flynn, former national security advisor, since Election Day, the senators requested of which Kushner’s attorney search for more than two dozen specific terms in communications between the two men, including Putin, sanctions along with Kislyak, referring to the then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“I think of which indicates of which Flynn is usually next,” Robert Ray, former independent counsel for the Whitewater investigation, told CNBC.
The letter, signed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., suggested of which the committee is usually looking into multiple reports of wrongdoing connected to Flynn’s role within the 2016 presidential campaign.
The terms offer insights into the scope of the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign along with Russia.
Examining search terms “gives you a certain hint” about what investigators are probing, Sol Wisenberg, who served as deputy independent counsel within the Whitewater investigation, said in a phone interview.
For instance, the senators requested Kushner’s attorney search for the terms “Peter Smith,” “WikiLeaks,” “Clinton,” along with “hacking” in communications between Kushner along with Flynn.
In August, The Wall Street Journal reported of which special counsel Robert Mueller was examining whether Flynn played a role in obtaining Hillary Clinton’s emails coming from Russian hackers. of which effort was reportedly led by Republican activist Peter Smith.
The senators also requested search terms related to the U.S. sanctions on Russian businesses of which have played an important role within the ongoing investigations by federal along with congressional officials.
They asked for communications including the name of a Russian bank of which was sanctioned by the United States, Vnesheconombank, or VEB.
The chief of of which bank met with Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, in brand-new York in December 2016, just a few weeks before Flynn discussed sanctions with the then-Russian ambassador. Earlier of which month, Flynn along with Kushner had met the ambassador at Trump Tower in brand-new York along with reportedly discussed a secret channel between the Trump transition team along with Moscow.
The senators also requested documents containing the name “Erik Prince” along with “Seychelles,” suggesting the investigators are interested in a reported secret meeting said to involve Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
The meeting, held within the Seychelles islands within the Indian ocean nine days before the inauguration, reportedly involved establishing a backchannel between the Russian government along with the Trump team. A Prince spokesman told The Washington Post its report was a “complete fabrication.”
Kushner, whose lawyer did not respond to a request for comment coming from CNBC, said in a July letter to Congress of which he “had no discussion about the sanctions” during the meeting with the banker. He also denied discussing a secret back channel with the Russians.
In a letter sent to the congressional committee, Kushner’s attorney thanked the committee for clarifying what documents of which was seeking.
Congressional committees are conducting investigations of which are separate coming from Mueller’s. Unlike Mueller, the congressional committees are unable to bring charges, Wisenberg said. The special counsel has declined to comment on its interactions with congressional investigators.
If charges were brought against Flynn, who resigned as Trump’s national security advisor after only 24 days, he would certainly be the first Trump administration official to be officially accused of criminal wrongdoing in connection with the probes into foreign meddling within the 2016 election.
In October, the special counsel indicted two campaign officials, Paul Manafort along with Richard Gates. A third, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to doing false statements to the FBI.