Several of President Trump’s lawyers advised him earlier this summer that White House adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner should step down from his role over potential legal complications with the ongoing Russia investigation, according to.
Sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that some of Trump’s lawyers were concerned about Kushner, who had several meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, and brought those concerns to Trump himself.
Press aides to Trump’s legal team allegedly even went so far as to draft a statement explaining why Kushner was leaving the White House.
The statement, meant to be issued by Kushner, blamed a toxic political environment for turning Kushner’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign into an attack on Trump.
That meeting, which was also attended by Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, was reportedly a central concern of Trump’s lawyers.
The meeting came when Trump’s campaign team was offered potentially damaging information about Democratic presidential nominee .
Kushner appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July to speak about the meeting, which he called a “waste of our time.”
The head of Trump’s legal team, John Dowd, said he didn’t agree with Trump’s other lawyers in their assessment of Kushner.
“I didn’t agree with that view at all. I thought it was absurd,” Dowd told the Journal. “I made my views known.”
Trump reportedly held the same view, with one source telling the newspaper that the president thought Kushner had done nothing wrong and had no reason to step down.
Trump’s lawyers were also worried Kushner may create legal problems for others in the White House by discussing the Russia investigation with other aides or with Trump without a lawyer present.
The president’s lawyers also expressed concern over Kushner’s federal disclosure forms, which the senior adviser has updated multiple times since his initial filing, adding more than 100 names to a list of foreign individuals he has had contact with.