Trump's son-in-law faces Capitol Hill grilling over Russia contacts

WASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, faces two days of closed-door questioning from Congress this week as lawmakers try to determine whether Trump's campaign enlisted Russia's help to win the White House in last year's election.

Kushner, a senior White House adviser, is expected to face questions about his contacts with Russian citizens and officials when he testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday and the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Trump has been dogged by allegations that his campaign aides worked with Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies have accused of interfering in last year's election. The issue has dominated Washington and divided his White House, distracting from his efforts to overhaul healthcare, restructure the tax code and rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

15 PHOTOS
Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
June 7: The 2016 primary season essentially concludes, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominees
June 9: Donald Trump Jr. — along with Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort — meets with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
June 9: Trump tweets about Clinton's missing 33,000 emails
July 18: Washington Post reports, on the first day of the GOP convention, that the Trump campaign changed the Republican platform to ensure that it didn't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces
July 21: GOP convention concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee
July 25: Democratic convention begins
July 27: In final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump asks Russia: "If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"
August 4: Obama CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia's interference. "[I] told him if you go down this road, it's going to have serious consequences, not only for the bilateral relationship, but for our ability to work with Russia on any issue, because it is an assault on our democracy," Brennan said on "Meet the Press" yesterday.
October 4: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange says his organization will publish emails related to the 2016 campaign
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails
October 7: Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence release a statement directly saying that Russia is interfering in the 2016 election
October 31: "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove," Trump says on the campaign trail
November 4: "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks," Trump says from Ohio.
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Moscow has denied any interference, and Trump says his campaign did not collude with Russia.

Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. released emails earlier this month that showed he appeared to welcome the prospect of damaging information from the Russian government about Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Members of both committees say they are eager to hear about the June 2016 meeting involving Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump's son, Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort all participated in the meeting.

NEGOTIATIONS OVER TESTIMONY

Another congressional panel, the Senate Judiciary Committee, is negotiating with Manafort and Trump Jr. about testifying in a public hearing.

Kushner will also face questions about reports he tried to set up a secret back channel to Moscow, as well as other contacts with top Russian officials and business leaders during the presidential campaign and the transition period before he took office.

24 PHOTOS
Members of the Kushner family
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Members of the Kushner family
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Charles Kushner and Jared Kushner attend LORD & TAYLOR Launches IVANKA TRUMP's Spring 2012 Collection at Lord & Taylor on March 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on May 23, 2017. Donald Trump arrived in Rome for a high-profile meeting with Pope Francis in what was his first official trip to Europe since becoming US President. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and White House senior advisor Jared Kushner take part in a bilateral meeting with Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (not seen) in Villa Taverna, the US ambassador's residence, in Rome on May 24, 2017. After a private audience wit Pope Francis early in the morning Trump's family will fly to Brussels this afternoon for meetings with EU and NATO officials before returning to Italy for the G7 summit in Sicily on May 26-27. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Ivanka Trump, with her husband Jared Kushner and their children, depart after her father President Donald Trump formally signed his cabinet nominations into law, in the President's Room of the Senate, at the Capitol in Washington, January 20, 2017. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite - Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 1: (L-R) Josh Kushner, Charles Kushner and Jared Kushner attend The New York Observer's New Look Hosted by Jared Kushner and Joseph Meyer at Casa Lever on April 1, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 18: Charles Kushner (C) wades though the media with his legal team and wife to the U.S. District Courthouse August 18, 2004 in Newark, New Jersey. Kushner, a New Jersey developer and a major campaign contributors to Democrats including embattled Gov. Jim McGreevey, is expected to plead guilty to federal charges that he hired a prostitute to try to silence a witness in a federal investigation. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Frank Lautenberg, Bill Clinton, Bruce S. Schonbraun, Charles Kushner (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - JUNE 14: (L-R) Charles Collier, Arianna Huffington and Jared Kushner attend AMC Hosts a Special Preview and Discussion of Their Provocative New Series 'MAD MEN' at Michael's on June 14, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by JIMI CELESTE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Charles E. Garner II, Jared Kushner, Kenneth Caplan, Keith B. Gelb, Jonathan L. Mechanic and Robert G. Stuckey attend Commercial Observer Masters of Real Estate 2013 at The Metropolitan Club on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilir Bajraktari/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 3: (L-R) Jared Kushner, Seryl Kushner and Joshua Kushner attend 2014 Library Lions Gala at The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J Grassi/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 3: (L-R) Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Seryl Kushner and Joshua Kushner attend 2014 Library Lions Gala at The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J Grassi/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump (C) and White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (R) listen to the US president delivering a speech during a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum, commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II, on May 23, 2017, in Jerusalem. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 4: (L-R) Josh Kushner, Jared Kushner, Barry Diller and Wendi Murdoch attend FOUNDERS CLUB New York & BARRY DILLER welcome TIM ARMSTRONG & JON MILLER at Roof Garden on June 4, 2008 in New York. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 10: Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump walk off Air Force One with their children at Palm Beach International airport as they prepare to spend part of the weekend together with her father President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago resort on February 10, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. President Trump is hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and are scheduled to get in a game of golf as well as discuss trade issues. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: (L-R) Josh Raffel, Jared Kushner and Matthew Hiltzik attend The New York Observer 25th Anniversary at Four Seasons Restaurant on March 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 1: (L-R) Anthony Marx, Jared Kushner, Joseph Meyer and Josh Kushner attend The New York Observer's New Look Hosted by Jared Kushner and Joseph Meyer at Casa Lever on April 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump, and their children walk off Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida as they arrive to spend the weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on February 10, 2017 with Japanese Peime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 30: (L-R) Josh Kushner, Wendi Murdoch, Dasha Zhukova and Jonathan Yeo attend the Louis Vuitton Art.sy Beachside Barbecue, hosted by Carter Cleveland, Wendi Murdoch and Dasha Zhukova at Soho Beach House Miami on November 30, 2011 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for ART.sy)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 31: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner looks on during a meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam in the Cabinet Room of the White House, on May 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24: Jared Kushner, Senior Adviser to US President arrives with the delegation of President of United States of America Donald Trump and Wife Melania Trump for a meeting with Pope Francis, on May 22, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by (Photo by Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend an audience with Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace on May 24, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. The President Trump will return on Italy on Friday attending the Group of 7 Summit in Sicily. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Charles Kushner, Seryl Kushner and Jared Kushner attend Commercial Observer Presents: Wired City: The Future of The NYC Tenant at 666 5th Avenue on November 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilir Bajraktari/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner attend the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral, on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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"We have a lot of ground to cover," Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Kushner did not initially disclose any meetings with Russians on forms he filed to get a government security clearance. He has since revised those forms several times.

Trump says the investigations in Congress and the Justice Department are politically motivated.

"As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!" the president wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Schiff said the intelligence panel could ask Kushner to return for further testimony if it still has questions after Tuesday.

"We expect this is just going to be the first interview," Schiff said on Sunday.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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