President Donald Trump’s lawyers talked about whether his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, should be in the White House in the early days of the Mueller probe, a new book has reported.
Members of the commander-in-chief’s legal team saw the couple as “problems” at the start of the Special Counsel investigation because they “talked openly” about details relating to the probe and made it “impossible for the White House to function in a normal way,” according to A Very Stable Genius.
But the book, co-authored by Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, also said some of the lawyers were “wary of staking out a position” on Ivanka Trump and Kushner for fear that they would become “roadkill” should word get back to them.
In June of 2017, the concerns led to some of the lawyers meeting at the Washington offices of Marc Kasowitz’s firm—including John Dowd, Jay Sekulow, Michael Bowe and Mark Corallo.
“As they settled into a work pattern with the president, the lawyers increasingly saw Kushner and Ivanka Trump as problems,” the authors wrote.
They went on to report that the pair “talked openly” about investigation details with other staffers and offered their own private advice.
Former Donald Trump legal spokesperson Corallo told the authors: “The discomfort is with the kids always being there and talking about the case with other people in the White House, which makes everybody a witness.”
He added that the situation made it “impossible for the White House to function in a normal way.”
In an extract of the book Kushner, Inc. by CNN senior reporter Vicky Ward, published last year, it was similarly reported that Ivanka Trump “interrupted pretty much every meeting” the legal team had with the president.
According to A Very Stable Genius, key members of the team then discussed in a meeting at the Washington offices of Kasowitz’s firm on June 13, 2017 whether or not Ivanka and Kushner should be in the White House.
“Some of the lawyers were wary of staking out a position,” the authors wrote. “They wanted to maintain their standing with the president, and they figured that whatever they advised Trump to do about the kids, he would share with Kushner and Ivanka, and then they would be ‘roadkill,’ as one of the advisers put it.”
The meeting attended by Bowe, Dowd, Sekulow and Corallo was a “frank” discussion, the reporters wrote, noting that Corallo raised the possibility of Kushner making other White House staffers witnesses by discussing the investigation.
Bowe reportedly argued that the president’s legal team should at least prepare for the possibility of a departure by Ivanka Trump and Kushner being necessary, while Sekulow suggested the team should be ready to discuss pros and cons with the president, should the need arise.
Rucker and Leonnig then wrote: “But Dowd defended Kushner and Ivanka, stressing that Trump relied on them and the lawyers shouldn’t get involved.”
Shortly after the June 13 meeting, some members of the team became “suspicious about a mysterious enemy slinging arrows their way,” the authors later wrote.
Newsweek has contacted the White House as well as Ivanka Trump and Kushner representatives for comment, and will update this article with any response.
The lawyers reportedly at the June 13, 2017, meeting have also been contacted for comment.