Does Michael Flynn's plea deal implicate Jared Kushner?

Flynn was reportedly directed by a senior Trump official to make contact with the Russian ambassador

By Matthew Rozsa

Published December 1, 2017 3:58PM (EST)

Jared Kushner   (AP/Susan Walsh)
Jared Kushner (AP/Susan Walsh)

Now that former national security adviser Michael Flynn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russian officials, the next person to face legal scrutiny may be the president's own son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Kushner may have instructed Flynn in December to tell Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to try to delay an upcoming vote on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, according to Bloomberg and several other news outlets.

Because President Barack Obama had told his ambassador to abstain from the resolution, the goal would have been to wait until Trump took office, and the resolution could be more effectively opposed by his administration.

This accusation is based on claims by two former officials within the Trump transition team who worked closely with Flynn at the time. One of them also claimed that Kushner told Flynn that he should try to get every foreign minister or ambassador from countries on the United Nations Security Council to either delay or oppose the upcoming resolution. It appeared at the time that Kushner was doing this in coordination with Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

One of the lies that Flynn pleaded guilty to saying to the FBI directly pertained to this incident:

On or about December 22, 2016, Flynn did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.

Flynn's guilty plea ultimately included a number of contacts between himself and Kislyak about which he had lied, according to The Washington Post. Sources familiar with Flynn's contacts and court records both suggest that Flynn acted with the knowledge and advice of senior Trump transition officials, which goes against the Trump administration's story that he was acting of his own volition.

Kushner has already met with investigators working for Mueller regarding either a similar matter or the same one that occurred during the transition period, according to The New York Times. According to the Times:

The questions focused on a meeting in December between Mr. Kushner, the ambassador and Michael T. Flynn, who at the time was the president’s incoming national security adviser, the person said on Wednesday.

Prosecutors also asked Mr. Kushner about other interactions between Mr. Flynn and the Russian government, the person briefed on the investigation said.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump Jared Kushner Michael Flynn Robert Mueller Russia