According to the Wall St. Journal, several of President Trump’s lawyers were so concerned about ‘possible legal complications’ related to the Russia probe that they wanted him to step down as senior White House adviser.
Among their concerns was that Mr. Kushner was the adviser closest to the president who had the most dealings with Russian officials and businesspeople during the campaign and transition, some of which are currently being examined by federal investigators and congressional oversight panels. Mr. Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and confidant, has said he had four such meetings or interactions.
Advisers were also worried about Kushner’s failure to include of contacts with ‘dozens of foreign officials’ on his official disclosure forms, which congressional Democrats seized upon in June – demanding Kushner’s security clearance be revoked pending investigation.
“When there are credible allegations that employees may be unfit to continue accessing classified information, security clearances are supposed to be suspended while the allegations are investigated.”
“Mr. Kushner reportedly failed to disclose contacts with dozens of foreign officials on his security clearance application.”
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) June 21, 2017
A month before Kushner’s failure to disclose foreign contacts hit the wires, reports surfaced that the Presidential advisor was under investigation by FBI Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, as reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by journalist Yashar Ali.
It's jared Kushner have confirmed this with four people. I'm not speculating
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 19, 2017
In addition to the disclosure issues, Kushner may face heat over meetings with Russian government officials at a time the Kushner family sought financing for a $1.8 billion building on Fifth Avenue in New York.
The White House has said that the subsequent meeting with the banker was a pre-inauguration diplomatic encounter, unrelated to business matters. The Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, which has been the subject of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, has said the session was held for business reasons because of Kushner’s role as head of his family’s real estate company. -WaPo
Kushner also came under fire for allegedly trying to establish a diplomatic ‘back channel’ with Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, “in a meeting which “occurred in Trump Tower, where we had our transition office, and lasted twenty [to] thirty minutes,” Kushner wrote in an 11 page statement submitted to Congress in July, adding “Lt. General Michael Flynn (Ret.), who became the President’s National Security Advisor, also attended … I stated our desire for a fresh start in relations.”
“I did not suggest a ‘secret back channel,'” he wrote. “I did not suggest an on-going secret form of communication for then or for when the administration took office. I did not raise the possibility of using the embassy or any other Russian facility for any purpose other than this one possible conversation in the transition period. We did not discuss sanctions.”
While it appears Kushner impressed Congress during closed-door testimony, it remains to be seen whether or not his dealings with foreign officials will pose a liability to the Trump administration, leaving no doubt as to why his father-in-law’s advisers were worried.If you enjoy the content at iBankCoin, please follow us on Twitter