Beyer, 20 House Democrats Press Stephen Miller On Russia Disclosures Following Papadopoulos Revelations
Washington, November 30, 2017
Rep. Don Beyer today led 20 House Democrats in seeking answers from Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller about his knowledge of Russian meetings and contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign. Their inquiry came after a series of news reports revealed that Miller, then a senior aide on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was alerted to Russian offers of assistance to that campaign by his subordinate George Papadopoulos, who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian meetings and contacts.
The Representatives wrote:
“We write with questions about your role in attempts to coordinate action between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials or operatives during the 2016 presidential election. These questions arise from recent admissions of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to lying to the FBI about his meetings and contacts with Russian government officials…
“…We also share grave concerns about any official in the White House with a position of influence over national security who knew about, or even participated in, covert arrangements designed to help a foreign adversary of the United States subvert our democratic elections processes.”
The Representatives went on to note that Miller remains a senior figure in the Trump White House with a security clearance and access to sensitive classified information. They asked Miller to outline any knowledge he had of Russian offers of assistance to the Trump campaign, and steps that he took after learning of such offers, including notification of his superiors. They also asked whether Miller properly disclosed all meetings and contacts with Russian officials on his Standard Form 86 (SF-86).
Rep. Beyer’s April letter calling for suspension of Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner’s security clearance pending investigation of myriad omissions on his SF-86 was followed by a June letter seeking revocation of that clearance. He also led Democrats in raising concerns about Senior White House Advisor Ivanka Trump’s security clearance in a July letter to the FBI, and called for revocation of her clearance in October after massive discrepancies in her ethics disclosures emerged.
The letter was signed by Democratic Representatives Jerrold Nadler (NY), Ted Lieu (CA), Jamie Raskin (MD), Peter Welch (VT), Zoe Lofgren (CA), Keith Ellison (MN), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (FL), Nydia Velazquez (NY), Dina Titus (NV), Lloyd Doggett (TX), Yvette Clarke (NY), Steve Cohen (TN), Tim Walz (MN), Grace Napolitano (CA), Ruben Gallego (AZ), Betty McCollum (MN), Bonnie Watson-Coleman (NJ), and Donald Payne Jr. (NJ).
Text of the letter follows below.
Dear Mr. Miller:
We write with questions about your role in attempts to coordinate action between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials or operatives during the 2016 presidential election. These questions arise from recent admissions of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to lying to the FBI about his meetings and contacts with Russian government officials.
Mr. Papadopoulos attested in court filings that he had written to a “senior policy adviser” on the Trump campaign that then-candidate Donald Trump had been extended an “open invitation” from Vladimir Putin to visit Russia. The New York Times recently identified you as that senior policy adviser.
Mr. Papadopoulos also attested in court documents that he met with a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, who told him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, which he specified to mean “thousands of e-mails.” This exchange occurred weeks after the initial hack of Clinton campaign e-mails, which were later published by Wikileaks, e-mails which the CIA assessed were provided to Wikileaks by the Russian government.
Unlike Mr. Papadopoulos and many of the other Trump campaign officials whose names have been linked to this investigation, you now serve in the White House as a member of the President’s senior staff, with a security clearance and ongoing access to vital US intelligence. We therefore seek your prompt answers to the following questions:
1. Were you aware that George Papadopoulos had received credible offers of assistance, on behalf of the Trump campaign, from the Russian government? When did you learn of them, and what actions did you take to notify your superiors in the Trump campaign?
2. Did you encourage Papadopoulous’ attempts to coordinate information sharing between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, with regard to Clinton campaign emails or any other matter?
3. Did you properly disclose any offer of assistance, meeting, or other relationship with any Russian officials into which you entered—either prior to or during the 2016 presidential campaign—on your Standard Form 86 when you applied for a security clearance during the transition period?
We respect the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and for the multiple investigations currently underway in House and Senate committees. We also share grave concerns about any official in the White House with a position of influence over national security who knew about, or even participated in, covert arrangements designed to help a foreign adversary of the United States subvert our democratic elections processes. Repeated failures by your White House colleague, Jared Kushner, and former employer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to properly disclose their meetings and contacts with Russian officials have only increased the need for vigorous oversight into ethics and security disclosures by other senior officials in this Administration.
We thank you for your timely attention to this critical matter.