It's Jared Kushner's time to be in Robert Mueller's hot seat

Investigators working for the special counsel want to learn more about Kushner's talks with foreign leaders

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published November 22, 2017 11:28AM (EST)

Jared Kushner   (AP/Alex Brandon)
Jared Kushner (AP/Alex Brandon)

The investigation into alleged collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian government officials has turned its sights on a man very close to Trump himself — presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators are looking into contacts that Kushner had with foreign leaders during the transition from Obama's presidency to Trump's, according to The Wall Street Journal. These include questions about the extent of Kushner's involvement in a controversy over a United Nations resolution in December that condemned Israel's continued construction of settlements in territory claimed by Palestinian organizations. Obama did not block the resolution, even though Trump argued it should be vetoed, and Israeli officials are believed to have reached out to senior officials in Trump's transition team, including Kushner and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Investigators are also looking into Kushner's activities in general, coordinating meetings with foreign leaders during the transition period, which may be connected with Kushner neglecting to mention in his security clearance form various foreign contacts that he may have had. Kushner had to subsequently update the form at least three times to include more than 100 contacts from 20 countries, which he claimed happened due to an "administrative error."

It is unclear whether Mueller's team is specifically looking into a transition-era meeting between Kushner and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower, with whom Kushner sought to seek a backchannel of communication with the Kremlin, according to Business Insider. Kushner later met with the CEO of Russia's Vnesheconombank, Sergei Gorkov.

It is also unclear which, if any, of the investigations into Kushner's interactions with foreign leaders reflect on the son-in-law being under suspicion of having committed a crime. A subject can be targeted by a probe without it meaning that the individuals involved in the matter are themselves being considered as suspects in a crime.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Israel Jared Kushner Robert Mueller Iii Russia