House Intel Committee Wants To Hear From Trump Campaign Adviser Epshteyn

Boris Epshteyn, special assistant to President Donald Trump, walks into the West Wing of the White House, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP
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The House Intelligence Committee wants to speak to Trump campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn as part of its probe into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election, CBS News reported Tuesday.

“Like many others, Mr. Epshteyn has received a broad, preliminary request for information from the House Intelligence Committee,” a lawyer for Epshteyn, who was not named, told CBS News. “This is a voluntary request. Mr. Epshteyn has not been subpoenaed nor do we anticipate that he will be.”

“We have reached out to the Committee with several follow up questions and we are awaiting their response in order to better understand what information they are seeking and whether Mr. Epshteyn is able to reasonably provide it,” the lawyer added.

A similar request was recently sent to former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, who worked in Russia in the 1990s and did work for Gazprom Media, the publishing arm of the Russian oil giant.

An anonymous U.S. official told CBS that Epshteyn is on a list of some 20 people slated for the committee’s first round of interviews. That list includes Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who refused requests from both the House and Senate intelligence panels for records of his contacts with Russian officials, calling them overly broad.

Trump’s campaign apparatus itself is now a focal point in the congressional investigations. Earlier this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a bipartisan request to Trump’s campaign committee asking for all Russia-related documents, emails and phone records.

Epshteyn, who served as a cable news surrogate and adviser during the campaign, abruptly left his White House post as Trump’s special assistant in charge of surrogate operations in March. The Moscow-born Trump ally is now a political analyst for conservative network Sinclair Broadcasting.

In interviews, he has insisted that Russia never annexed Crimea by force in 2014 and refused to admit that the Kremlin intervened in the presidential race.

“You would have to ask Russia if they tried to meddle … Whether there was an attempt at meddling, again, how would I know?” Epshteyn said in a recent appearance on “Real Time With Bill Maher.” “Again, if you have a problem with how the president is handling his foreign policy, you can speak at the ballot box in three and a half years.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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