Boris Epshteyn was a senior adviser to the Trump campaign
He left the role in March, and the White House didn't offer an explanation for his departure
Former Trump campaign and White House official Boris Epshteyn will testify behind closed doors on Thursday before the House intelligence committee, according to three committee sources.
Epshteyn is the latest person in the Trump orbit to appear before the panel as part of its investigation into Russia’s election meddling and possible collusion between the Trump team and Russian officials.
The panel interviewed longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone on Tuesday in a closed session, and it has also spoken to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo.
The committee has also interviewed in recent months several officials from the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, including former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Epshteyn was a senior adviser to the Trump campaign and took a White House job in the communications office. But he left the role in March, and the White House didn’t offer an explanation for his departure. Epshteyn is currently chief political analyst for Sinclair Broadcast Group, the conservative-leaning network of television stations.
He appeared as a pro-Trump surrogate in numerous TV interviews throughout the campaign. On a few occasions in the past year, Epshteyn has appeared to dismiss the conclusions of the US intelligence community. Instead, he has echoed Trump’s own discredited narratives, including when he argued that voter fraud caused Clinton to win the popular vote in 2016.
Epshteyn declined to comment when asked about Thursday’s appearEance before the panel.
A fluent Russian speaker, Epshteyn grew up in Moscow and emigrated to the United States in 1993. He joined Strategy International in 2007, a consulting firm with business dealings in Eastern Europe.
In October 2013, Epshteyn moderated a panel discussion with Russian government officials at a conference in New York City promoting investments in Moscow, according to The Huffington Post. Epshteyn was joined on stage by some officials from the Moscow city government, according to photographs from the event.
In one CNN interview from July 2016, Epshteyn claimed that Russia did not invade Crimea, saying, “Again, first of all, you – Russia did not seize Crimea. We could talk about the conflict that happened between the Ukraine and the Crimea, the ongoing conflict where there was no seizure by Russia.”
Russian-speaking troops invaded Crimea in 2014 and Russia soon annexed the Ukrainian territory.
In an HBO interview in May, Epshteyn repeatedly refused to say that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, putting him at odds with assessments from the CIA, FBI and NSA that Russia interfered.
“You’ll have to ask Russia whether they did or not,” Epshteyn said. “Whether there was any attempted meddling … how would I know?”
CNN’s Jim Sciutto contributed to this report.