U.S. Department of Justice
Attorney Work Product // May Contain Material Protected Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)
policy speech. Khalilzad also met with Sessions one-on-one separately from the dinners. At the dinners and in the meetings, the participants addressed U.S. relations with Russia, including how U.S, relations with NATO and European countries affected U.S. policy toward Russia. But the discussions were not exclusively focused on Russia. Khalilzad, for example, recalled discussing "nation-building" and violent extremism with Sessions. In addition, Sessions asked Saunders (of CNI) to draft two memoranda not specific to Russia: one on Hillary Clinton's foreign policy shortcomings and another on Egypt.
- d. Jared Kushner's Continuing Contacts with Simes
Between the April 2016 speech at the Mayflower Hotel and the presidential election, Jared Kushner had periodic contacts with Simes. Those contacts consisted of both in-person meetings and phone conversations, which concerned how to address issues relating to Russia in the Campaign and how to move forward with the advisory group of foreign policy experts that Simes had proposed. Simes recalled that he, not Kushner, initiated all conversations about Russia, and that Kushner never asked him to set up back-channel conversations with Russians. According to Simes, after the Mayflower speech in late April, Simes raised the issue of Russian contacts with Kushner, advised that it was bad optics for the Campaign to develop hidden Russian contacts, and told Kushner both that the Campaign should not highlight Russia as an issue and should handle any contacts with Russians with care. Kushner generally provided a similar account of his interactions with Simes.
Among the Kushner-Simes meetings was one held on August 17, 2016, at Simes's request, in Kushner's New York office. The meeting was to address foreign policy advice that CNI was providing and how to respond to the Clinton Campaign's Russia-related attacks on candidate
- Burt 2/9/18 302, at 9-10; Khalilzad 1/9/18 302, at 1-2, 5.
- Khalilzad 1/9/18 302, at 5-6.
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 31; Burt 2/9/18 302, at 9-10; Khalilzad 1/9/18 302, at 5.
- Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 20.
- Khalilzad 1/9/18 302, at 6.
- Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 19-20.
- 18 Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27.
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27.
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27.
- Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27. During this period of time, the Campaign received a request for a high-level Campaign official to meet with an officer at a Russian state-owned bank "to discuss an offer [that officer] claims to be carrying from President Putin to meet with" candidate Trump. NOSC00005653 (5/17/16 Email, Dearborn to Kushner (8:12 a.m.)). Copying Manafort and Gates, Kushner responded, "Pass on this. A lot of people come claiming to carry messages. Very few are able to verify. For now I think we decline such meetings. Most likely these people go back home and claim they have special access to gain importance for themselves. Be careful." NOSC00005653 (5/17/16 Email, Kushner to Dearborn).
- Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 11-13.