FBI homes in on Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner in Russia probe

A series of meetings between a Russian banker, the Russian ambassador and Kushner are raising eyebrows at the FBI

By Keith A. Spencer

Senior Editor

Published May 25, 2017 7:51PM (EDT)

Jared Kushner (AP/Evan Vucci)
Jared Kushner (AP/Evan Vucci)

On May 19, the Washington Post published an article citing anonymous government sources who said that the federal investigation into collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign had homed in on an unnamed "current White House official," cited as a "person of interest."

It turns out that person of interest may have been presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Today, the Washington Post published another bombshell report describing how federal investigators are "focusing on a series of meetings" between Jared Kushner and the Russian ambassador. Kushner "is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians," the Post reported.

From the Post:

In early December, Kushner met in New York with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and he later sent a deputy to meet with Kislyak again. [Gen. Mike] Flynn was also present at the early December meeting, and later that month, Flynn held a call with Kislyak to discuss U.S.-imposed sanctions against Russia. Flynn initially mischaracterized the conversation even to the vice president — which ultimately prompted his ouster from the White House.

Kushner also met in December with Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, which has been the subject of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Post's source also mentioned that investigators were looking into "possible financial crimes," but their source was not specific as to what that meant.

The web of ties between Trump's confidants and the Kremlin is difficult to track. While many Trump officials (and former officials like Retired General Mike Flynn) appear to be on friendly terms with Russian officials like Ambassador Kislyak, there has yet to be criminal proof of collusion between the highest levels of the Trump campaign and the Kremlin — though it is known and confirmed that the Russian government actively meddled in the 2016 presidential election in an attempt to harm Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency. Moreover, some of the leaked documents stemming from the Russian-linked hack into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) were used by GOP operatives in smear campaigns against their Democratic rivals.

Yet Russian meddling is different from outright collusion, a charge that would imply that the Trump campaign actively knew, and perhaps even aided and abetted, the Russian attempts at interference. The focus on Kushner as a subject of inquiry in the investigation hints that contact between Russia and Trump's people may have occurred even among Trump's closest and most trusted advisors. If true, such a criminal scandal could have ramifications that could easily lead to Trump's impeachment.

Today's report comes on the heels of another bombshell revelation from the Wall Street Journal that a GOP operative openly worked with a Kremlin-linked hacker who was leaking secret internal documents from the DCCC.

By Keith A. Spencer

Keith A. Spencer is a social critic and author. Previously a senior editor at Salon, he writes about capitalism, science, labor and culture, and published a book on how Silicon Valley is destroying the world. Keep up with his writing on TwitterFacebook, or Substack.

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