U.S. Department of Justice
Attorney Work Product // May Contain Material Protected Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)
The Office found no evidence that Kislyak conversed with either Trump or Sessions after the speech, or would have had the opportunity to do so. Simes, for example, did not recall seeing Kislyak at the post-speech luncheon, and the only witness who accounted for Sessions's whereabouts stated that Sessions may have spoken to the press after the event but then departed for Capitol Hill. Saunders recalled, based in part on a food-related request he received from a Campaign staff member, that Trump left the hotel a few minutes after the speech to go to the airport.
- c. Jeff Sessions's Post-Speech Interactions with CNI
In the wake of Sessions's confirmation hearings as Attorney General, questions arose about whether Sessions's campaign-period interactions with CNI apart from the Mayflower speech included any additional meetings with Ambassador Kislyak or involved Russian-related matters. With respect to Kislyak contacts, on May 23, 2016, Sessions attended CNI's Distinguished Service Award dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. Sessions attended a pre-dinner reception and was seated at one of two head tables for the event. A seating chart prepared by Saunders indicates that Sessions was scheduled to be seated next to Kislyak, who appears to have responded to the invitation by indicating he would attend the event. Sessions, however, did not remember seeing, speaking with, or sitting next to Kislyak at the dinner. Although CNI board member Charles Boyd said he may have seen Kislyak at the dinner, Simes, Saunders, and Jacob Heilbrunn—editor of the National Interest—all had no recollection of seeing Kislyak at the May 23 event. Kislyak also does not appear in any of the photos from the event that the Office obtained.
In the summer of 2016, CNI organized at least two dinners in Washington, D.C. for Sessions to meet with experienced foreign policy professionals. The dinners included CNI-affiliated individuals, such as Richard Burt and Zalmay Khalilzad, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq and the person who had introduced Trump before the April 27, 2016 foreign-
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 22; Heilbrunn 2/1/18 302, at 7.
- Luff 1/30/18 302, at 4.
- Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 15.
- Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 22; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 17.
- Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 17; C00004779-80 (5/23/16 Email, Cantelmo to Saunders & Hagberg (9:30:12 a.m.); C00004362 (5/23/16 Email, Bauman to Cantelmo et al. (2:02:32 a.m.).
- C00004362 (5/23/16 Email Bauman to Cantelmo et al. (2:02:32 a.m.).
- Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 22.
- Boyd 1/24/18 302, at 4.
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 23; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 18; Heilbrunn 2/1/18 302, at 7.
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 31; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 19; Burt 2/9/18 302, at 9-10; Khalilzad 1/9/18 302, at 5.