Investigators working as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election have begun questioning witnesses about Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor.
The investigators reportedly questioned witnesses about Kushner's involvement in the firing of FBI Director James Comey, sources told CNN. Kushner has reportedly turned over documents to Mueller.
Although White House sources indicated they believe Kushner is not a target of the investigation, the questioning suggests Mueller's examinations are going beyond the 2016 campaign and getting closer to Trump's inner circle, according to CNN. He appears to be looking into decisions taken by senior officials at the White House.
Kushner's role in the removal of Comey remains unclear. White House sources said Trump was the one who decided to fire Comey following the former FBI director's testimony to Congress on May 3.
However, others have suggested Kushner was actively involved in the move. Kushner's attorney said of Comey's firing that Trump's son-in-law "did not oppose it."
On Oct. 30, Mueller issued indictments charging former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates. Both men were accused of money laundering and other financial crimes. None of the crimes in the indictment were directly tied to the Trump campaign.
Mueller also revealed that George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with foreign individuals during the campaign.
In a Nov. 2 court filing, Manafort described the evidence against him as "embellished." Attorneys for Manafort wrote that he was a "successful, international political consultant," which meant he was inevitably involved in international financial transactions, according to The Associated Press.
Kevin Downing, Manafort's attorney, argued that all funds his client received came from legal sources.
"Obviously, international funds entering the U.S. banking system, or going to U.S. vendors, are traceable and subject to U.S. process," added Downing. "It goes without saying that in an international scheme to conceal assets, individuals generally move them offshore, not to the United States."
Trump insisted in a telephone conversation with a New York Times reporter on Nov. 1 that Mueller's probe has not come near him personally.
"I'm not under investigation, as you know," he told the Times.
He pointed to Manafort's indictment, noting, "Even if you look at that, there's not even a mention of Trump in there."
"It has nothing to do with us," he added.
Sources: CNN, AP via The Guardian, The New York Times / Featured Image: Federal Bureau of Investigations/Flickr / Embedded Images: Dominique Pineiro via Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr, Gage Skidmore/Flickr