Page:Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election.pdf/113

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U.S. Department of Justice

Attorney Work Product // May Contain Material Protected Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)

and asked Gordon to both read it and share it with Sessions. The memorandum proposed building a "small and carefully selected group of experts" to assist Sessions with the Campaign, operating under the assumption "that Hillary Clinton is very vulnerable on national security and foreign policy issues." The memorandum outlined key issues for the Campaign, including a "new beginning with Russia."[1]

b. National Interest Hosts a Foreign Policy Speech at the Mayflower Hotel

During both their March 24 phone call and their March 31 in-person meeting, Simes and Kushner discussed the possibility of CNI hosting a foreign policy speech by candidate Trump.[2] Following those conversations, Simes agreed that he and others associated with CNI would provide behind-the-scenes input on the substance of the foreign-policy speech and that CNI officials would coordinate the logistics of the speech with Sessions and his staff, including Sessions's chief of staff, Rick Dearborn.[3]

In mid-April 2016, Kushner put Simes in contact with senior policy advisor Stephen Miller and forwarded to Simes an outline of the foreign-policy speech that Miller had prepared.[4] Simes sent back to the Campaign bullet points with ideas for the speech that he had drafted with CNI Executive Director Paul Saunders and board member Richard Burt.[5] Simes received subsequent draft outlines from Miller, and he and Saunders spoke to Miller by phone about substantive changes to the speech.[6] It is not clear, however, whether CNI officials received an actual draft of the speech for comment; while Saunders recalled having received an actual draft, Simes did not, and the emails that CNI produced to this Office do not contain such a draft.[7]

After board members expressed concern to Simes that CNI's hosting the speech could be perceived as an endorsement of a particular candidate, CNI decided to have its publication, the National Interest, serve as the host and to have the event at the National Press Club.[8] Kushner later requested that the event be moved to the Mayflower Hotel, which was another venue that Simes had mentioned during initial discussions with the Campaign, in order to address concerns about security and capacity.[9]

  1. C00008187 (6/17/16 Email, Simes to Gordon (3:35:45 p.m.)).
  2. Simes 3/8/18 302, at 7.
  3. Simes 3/8/18 302, at 8–11; C00008923 (4/6/16 Email, Simes to Burt (2:22:28 p.m.)); Burt 2/9/18 302, at 7.
  4. C00008551 (4/17/16 Email, Kushner to Simes (2:44:25 p.m.)); C00006759 (4/14/16 Email Kushner to Simes & S. Miller (12:30 p.m.)).
  5. Burt 2/9/18 302, at 7; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 7–8.
  6. Simes 3/8/18 302, at 13; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 7–8.
  7. Simes 3/8/18 302, at 13; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 7–8.
  8. Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 8; Simes 3/8/18 302, at 12; CO0003834–43 (4/22/16 Email, Simes to Boyd et al. (8:47 a.m.)).
  9. Simes 3/8/18 302, at 12, 18; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 11.