Special counsel is investigating Jared Kushner’s business dealings – Washington Post
FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the financial dealings of other Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who was listed as a foreign-policy adviser for the campaign.
The Washington Post previously reported that investigators were scrutinizing meetings that Kushner held with Russians in December — first with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and then with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a state-owned Russian development bank. At the time of that report, it was not clear that the FBI was investigating Kushner’s business dealings.
The officials who described the financial focus of the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
At the December meeting with Kislyak, Kushner suggested establishing a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to U.S. officials who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak’s account.
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. The meeting occurred as Kushner’s company was seeking financing for its troubled $1.8 billion purchase of an office building on Fifth Avenue in New York, and it could raise questions about whether Kushner’s personal financial interests were colliding with his impending role as a public official.
Mueller’s investigation is in a relatively early phase, and it is unclear whether criminal charges will be brought when it is complete.
“We do not know what this report refers to,” Jamie Gorelick, an attorney for Kushner, said in an email. “It would be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to Russia. Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about Russia-related matters. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”
Kushner has agreed to discuss his Russian contacts with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting one of several investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Kushner rarely speaks publicly about his role in the White House, but he has become a major figure in the administration with a sprawling list of policy responsibilities that includes Canada and Mexico, China, and peace in the Middle East.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment for this article but said that “the Special Counsel’s Office has undertaken stringent controls to prohibit unauthorized disclosures and will deal severely with any member who engages in this conduct.”
Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein on May 17, is investigating possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters. The inquiry has expanded to include an examination of whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice, The Post reported Wednesday.
Trump on Thursday tweeted that the investigation was “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history — led by some very bad and conflicted people!”
Trump compared his position with the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in another tweet.