Democrats are zeroing in on top Trump aide Stephen Miller in the House Russia probe

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesStephen Miller.
  • Democrats are pressing White House senior adviser Stephen Miller for answers on his communications with former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.
  • Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russians during the campaign.
  • Democrats presented Miller with a series of questions.

Democrats on Thursday moved to press White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on his knowledge of Russian contacts with members of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The move came after Miller was revealed to be a senior aide who had an email exchange with former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who mentioned “interesting messages” from Moscow.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russians during the campaign, court documents showed late last month.

The 20 House Democrats, led by Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, sent a letter to Miller requesting that he answer a series of questions related to Papadopoulos and his security clearance form.

Those questions included:

  • Was Miller aware that Papadopoulos “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?”
  • “Did you encourage Papadopoulos’ attempts to coordinate information sharing between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, with regard to [Hillary] Clinton campaign emails or any other matter?”
  • “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?”

The Democrats wrote that they “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,” they said.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Papadopoulos told Miller in an April 2016 email that he received an “interesting message” from Russia. That email came one day after Papadopoulos learned the Kremlin apparently had “dirt” on Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

Those emails were disclosed in court documents that were were filed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and unsealed in October. Miller was not named in the filings, but was reported to be the adviser described within them. Court filings showed that Miller was in regular contact with Papadopoulos in 2016.

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