WASHINGTON, May 25, 2017 – President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is being scrutinized by Federal investigators for alleged connections with Russian officials. The investigation is part of the FBI’s probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign staff and Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.
Along with Kushner, investigators are also focusing their investigation on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and former Trump campaign staffers including Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page. Flynn recently invoked the Fifth Amendment and is refusing to turn over documents requested by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senator Richard Burr has acknowledged the possibility of holding Flynn in contempt for his refusal.
Last week, the Department of Justice appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the Russia investigation after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Investigators believe Kushner could shed some light on persons of interest in the current inquiry, but they do not consider him guilty of a crime. It’s unclear whether he has received any record requests by Federal investigators.
The FBI began looking into Kushner because of his prominent leadership role in the president’s transition team’s foreign policy efforts. Kushner’s lawyer spoke to NBC News and confirmed that Kushner had volunteered to tell Congress what he knows about his meetings with Russian officials. It is known that Kushner previously had met with Russian banker Sergey Gorkov, whose bank was slapped with U.S. sanctions in July 2014, and it has been learned that Gorkov studied at Russia’s intelligence services’ training school.
Kushner ran the Trump campaign’s data analytics operation, which helped the campaign figure out where President Trump’s message was resonating across the country, allowing him to avoid campaigning in locations where it appeared he would be wasting time and money.
In a potentially related matter, the FBI is collecting data on computer programs and “bots” that helped push negative information on Hillary Clinton and positive information on Trump through social media outlets such as Facebook, although Clinton’s campaign did much the same thing, promoting negative information on Trump.
It is still unclear precisely how Mueller will proceed with his investigation, given that there is little if any proof to back up the numerous allegations made against the Trump campaign.