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Amid Russia Investigation, Jared Kushner Lawyers Up

As the investigation into the White House's alleged dealings with Russia continues, Jared Kushner has joined forces with acclaimed criminal defense attorney Abbe Lowell.

Lowell has represented lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Democratic Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, and has served as chief minority counsel to the Democrats for former President Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings, reports Politico.

He is also representing Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who faces corruption charges and is awaiting a trial.

Kushner's current lawyer, Jamie Gorelick,confirmed the news in a June 26 statement. Gorelick is a partner at WilmerHale, the same law firm of Bob Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel to investigate the Russia allegations.

"When Bob Mueller left WilmerHale to become special counsel and three of our colleagues joined him, we asked Mr. Kushner to get independent legal advice on whether to continue with us as his counsel," Gorelick explained in the statement, according to Politico. "He engaged Abbe Lowell to advise him and then decided to add Mr. Lowell to the team representing him in the various inquiries into the Russia matter."

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Kushner, a senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, intends to fully cooperate with the investigation and has not been charged with anything yet, although investigators are reportedly looking into meetings that he had with the Russian ambassador and a Russian banker in December 2016, which he did not immediately disclose when applying for his security clearance, according to The Washington Post.

White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The New York Times in March that Kushner's interactions with the Russians and other foreign leaders were included in his job duties during Trump's presidential transition.

"Jared has had meetings with many other foreign countries and representatives -- as many as two dozen other foreign countries' leaders and representatives," Hicks added, notes The Times.

News of the legal team addition comes amid reports that Kushner's real estate company took out a $285 million loan in October 2016, one month before Election Day, from Deutsche Bank, a German financial company that to which the president's companies reportedly owe $364 million in debt. Kushner, who allegedly made a personal guarantee on the loan while advising the Trump campaign, did not disclose this to the Office of Government Ethics.

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Though a number of Democrats have questioned whether dealings with Deutsche Bank constitute a conflict of interest, lawyer Blake Roberts, who represented Kushner on the disclosure, told The Post that the presidential advisor was not required to disclose it, as he does not "have a present obligation to repay the loan."

Sources: Politico, Washington Post, New York Times / Photo Credit: Tabercil/Wikimedia CommonsChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr (2)

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