U.S.

Donald Trump Can't Keep Ivanka and Jared 'Off Limits' in New Congress Investigations, Chris Christie Says

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie warned that President Donald Trump’s family members working in his administration could not be considered off-limits in federal investigations.

Speaking with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night, Christie—once aTrump ally—said that Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner were fair game for investigators because of their senior positions in the White House.

Cuomo and Christie were discussing a New York Times report published Thursday that said Trump had ordered former Chief of Staff John Kelly to issue Kusher top-secret security clearance, overriding opposition from Kelly and intelligence officials. Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, was eventually given the clearance in May 2018.

According to The Times, both Kelly and then-White House counsel Donald McGahn were so riled by Trump's order that they wrote contemporaneous internal memos documenting the decision. McGahn’s memo included objections raised about Kushner by the CIA, and noted that the former White House counsel had recommended that Kushner not be granted top-secret clearance.

The revelations came soon after House Democrats said they would pursue hearings with Ivanka Trump and Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., following testimony by former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen before the House Oversight and Reform Committee this week.

Cuomo asked Christie if the White House was now “at war” with all those seeking to investigate his children and closest family members.

Christie dismissed the suggestion, but said, “The president placed his daughter and his son-in-law into official positions in the White House. Not as informal advisers but as official job holders in the White House. You can’t say they’re off-limits now.”

The former governor said that—at least in congressional investigations as opposed to those conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and allleged links to the Trump campaign—“You can say that [Trump’s two sons] Eric and Donnie are a different story, they’re in private business here in New York City. I think that’s different, they’re not involving themselves in government.”

But Ivanka and Jared are firmly in the firing line. The House, with its new Democratic majority,  has already shown its enthusiasm for using its newly found oversight powers, and will likely continue its investigations all the way to the 2020 election.

“I told the president this…[Congress] is not going to stop at anything,” Christie said. “They’re going to bring everybody they think they have to bring in.”

In his testimony this week, Cohen named several influential figures within the Trump Organization that the House Oversight and Reform Committee may now wish to question. Cuomo asked Christie if he thought Democrats should now pursue those named, which included some of Trump’s children and closest associates.

“I think that Michael Cohen yesterday laid out a list of witnesses that the House now has to give serious consideration to calling in,” Christie replied. “Whether it’s [Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer] Allen Weisselberg or Jared, Ivanka and the rest.”

“They're going to want more, they’re going to want Allen Weisselberg, they're going to want the president’s children,” Christie said.

Ivanka Jared Kushner Donald Trump Chris Christie investigation Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner follow President Donald Trump to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House November 29, 2018. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie warned that President Donald Trump’s family members working in his administration could not be considered off-limits in federal investigations. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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