Jared Kushner Is About To Get His Comeuppance
On Wednesday, special counsel Robert Mueller released a sentencing memo for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, outlining the times he has lied and how many times he has been interviewed by investigators.
According to reports, Mueller said that Flynn offered “substantial assistance” to investigators, which could spell trouble for senior White House adviser and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner who took part in some of the events Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying about.
“The meat of what should worry Team Trump is in Mueller’s disclosure that Flynn has provided firsthand information about interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials – including, as was already known, several conversations with (then-Russian ambassador Sergey) Kislyak in December 2016,” wrote Trump biographer Tim O’Brien for Bloomberg Opinion. “Those included a discussion about lifting economic sanctions the Obama administration had imposed on Russia and about a separate matter involving a United Nations resolution on Israel.”
It has been over a year since Flynn pleaded guilty for lying about those contacts with Russian officials and according to Mueller’s memo, his investigators are on the hunt to see which contacts Flynn tried to keep secret.
Both former FBI Director Comey and now Mueller have focused on possible favor-trading between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, and the cash-strapped Kushner joined Flynn on Dec. 1, 2016, for a Trump Tower meeting with Kislyak to arrange a subsequent meeting with a Russian banker.
“FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump,” a U.S. law enforcement official told Reuters when the meeting was first reported in May 2017.
It was reported by the New York Times that Kushner and Flynn took part in the undisclosed Dec. 13, 2016, meeting with Sergei Gorkov — head of the state-owned Vnesheconombank and a trained intelligence officer — to discuss setting up a backchannel between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that would have bypassed diplomats and intelligence agencies.
“It is unclear who first proposed the communications channel, but the people familiar with the meeting said the idea was to have Mr. Flynn speak directly with a senior military official in Moscow to discuss Syria and other security issues,” the Times reported, which first revealed Kushner’s role in the scheme.
Mueller’s memo doesn’t discuss Kushner’s role in these events, but that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook.
“The absence of greater detail might cause Kushner to worry,” O’Brien wrote. “If Flynn offered federal authorities a different version of events than Kushner – and Flynn’s version is buttressed by documentation or federal electronic surveillance of the former general – then the president’s son-in-law may have to start scrambling.”