Former White House press officer Boris Epshteyn to be questioned in Russia probe

The congressional investigation of Russian interference continues to expand.

ByABC News
May 30, 2017, 5:25 PM

— -- The congressional investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election continues to grow, as yet another Trump associate, Boris Epshteyn, has acknowledged that he has received a request for information from lawmakers.

Epshteyn, a Trump campaign adviser who briefly served in the White House communications office, confirmed to ABC News that he has received a request for information and testimony from the House Intelligence Committee. His lawyer provided a brief statement to ABC News.

"Like many others, Mr. Epshteyn has received a broad, preliminary request for information from the House Intelligence Committee. This is a voluntary request. Mr. Epshteyn has not been subpoenaed nor do we anticipate that he will be. We have reached out to the committee with several follow-up questions, and we are awaiting their response in order to better understand what information they are seeking and whether Mr. Epshteyn is able to reasonably provide it."

Epshteyn, 34, most recently served as the special assistant to the president in charge of surrogate operations before leaving his post in March.

The White House offered no explanation for his abrupt departure. Although a senior Trump administration official initially told ABC News that they were “exploring opportunities within the administration” for Epshteyn, he has since joined the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting as a political analyst.

Epshteyn grew up in Moscow and met Trump’s son Eric Trump at Georgetown University, where Epshteyn received his law degree. After the campaign, he served as a senior adviser to the transition team and director of communications for the Presidential Inaugural Committee before joining the White House press office.

A frequent on-air guest during the campaign, he became well-known for combative television appearances and friction with reporters behind the scenes.

In a recent interview with Bill Maher, Epshteyn sparred with the progressive political commentator about whether Russia meddled in the election.

“You would have to ask Russia if they tried to meddle … Whether there was an attempt at meddling, again, how would I know?” Epshteyn said. “Again, if you have a problem with how the president is handling his foreign policy, you can speak at the ballot box in three and a half years.”

Epshteyn appears to be the sixth associate of Donald Trump’s whose activities are being examined in the rapidly widening congressional investigation.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served briefly as Trump’s national security adviser, is the only person of interest so far to receive a subpoena for records. Flynn has declined to provide them, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, informal adviser Roger Stone and former foreign policy adviser Carter Page have also been asked by lawmakers to voluntarily hand over relevant records. All three have said that they are cooperating with the investigation.

ABC News reported on Tuesday that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, has also been asked “to provide information and testimony” about his contacts with Russian officials. Cohen told ABC News he “declined to participate” because “the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered” and denied that he has any links to Russia.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, could also be asked to testify. In an interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, has called for a review of Kushner’s security clearance after reports that he sought to establish a backchannel with Russian officials.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, David Caplan, Nicki Rossoll and Erin Galloway contributed to this report.