According to people familiar with the investigation probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump team, the focus is moving even closer to home for President Trump. Investigators are now looking into a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and influential White House adviser.
Kushner held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador as well as a banker from Russia; some sources close to the White House said that there is concern about the extent and nature of those interactions. The FBI has shown previous interest in the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and although the FBI has not named Kushner as a “target,” he is being considered a key person in the probe. The investigation centers on any coordination or collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, but it also will look into broader financial crimes that may have been committed.
Jared Kushner has not been accused of any wrongdoing. “Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry,” said Jamie Gorelick, one of Kushner’s attorneys. Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said, “I can’t confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of investigations or subjects of investigations.” The FBI declined to comment.
The president’s son-in-law is most likely Trump’s most trusted adviser. He has an extensive list of policy responsibilities, and his foreign policy portfolio includes Canada, Mexico, China and peace in the Middle East. Kushner has rarely spoken publically about his role and responsibilities.
At the December meeting in question with Russian officials, Trump had already won the election. Contact between leaders of a transition team and Foreign governments are sometimes routine, but the meeting was not made public at the time. And Michael Flynn joined Kushner at this meeting with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and later misrepresented his involvement to Vice President Pence. This interaction prompted his losing the national security adviser position.
Kushner also met in December with Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, which is at the center of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea as well as their support of separatists in Eastern Ukraine.
The White House has called Kushner’s meetings “inconsequential” and said that Kushner’s omission of them on his clearance forms was an “error.” What do you think about Kushner’s involvement in any scandal with Russia?
Credit: The Washington Post