Robert Mueller is now probing Jared Kushner’s contacts with foreign leaders.
We’ve said this over and over again. Mueller started with Manafort, next he’ll move to indict Michael Flynn and his son, then he’ll go after Carter Page, and in the final act, he’ll indict Jared Kushner.
The sequence there is strategic. Mueller is working from the outside of the Trump orbit and moving inward, the idea being that by the time the risk-reward asymmetry is skewed enough to force Trump’s hand (i.e. by the time the legal risk inherent in allowing the investigation to proceed apace outweighs the political risk associated with moving against Mueller), it will be too late.
Kushner has come under scrutiny again this month in connection to his apparent failure to disclose contacts with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange during closed-door congressional testimony in July. He also told Congress he did not know of anyone on the campaign who had contacted WikiLeaks.
We now know that was either a lie or that Kushner, like Jeff Sessions, has a hard time remembering things that happened less than a year ago. Because according to a letter sent to Kushner’s attorney by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, other sources have provided documents showing “September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks, which Мr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official.” We documented that at length last week and you can read the Senators’ full letter here.
Kushner has of course also come under fire for omissions from a government form required to obtain a security clearance and that brings us to a Wall Street Journal article which hit on Tuesday evening.
“Robert Mueller’s investigators are asking questions about Jared Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, including his involvement in a dispute at the United Nations in December, in a sign of the expansive nature of the special counsel’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the election,” the Journal writes, citing the ubiquitous “people familiar with the matter.”
Apparently, the questions relate to the December 23 UN resolution on Israel’s settlement construction – Trump advocated for the resolution to be blocked. Months later, Foreign Policy reported that “Michael Flynn and other members of the president’s transition team launched a vigorous diplomatic bid to head off a U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements.”
The Journal notes that as of now, “the motivation for the Mueller team’s questions about the U.N. is unclear,” but sources also said “investigators have asked witnesses about Kushner’s role in arranging meetings or communication with foreign leaders during the transition.”
Mueller is also attempting to discern whether Kushner might have played a role in the dismissal of James Comey and if so, what his motivations were. And then there’s the Vnesheconombank issue.
Needless to say, the fact that Mueller is now questioning Kushner’s contacts with foreign leaders is yet another indication that the special counsel probe is nowhere close to “winding down” as the White House would have the public believe.
You would have to be a fool to think that Kushner does not know far more than he’s letting on and the fact that there is now a paper trail proving that he did in fact know about contact between the campaign and WikiLeaks despite denying such contact just six months ago just underscores the contention that he is being anything but forthcoming.
Again, you’d have to be a fool to think Kushner is being forthright. And Robert Mueller is no fool.