Politics

Jared Kushner Under Investigation

| by David Bonner

The FBI's Russia investigation now includes President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.

At issue are a series of meetings Kushner held in December, according to anonymous sources cited by The Washington Post.

Kushner met in New York with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, and he later sent a deputy to meet with Kislyak. Kushner also met with Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, which has been the subject of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine, reports NBC News.

Kushner has agreed to discuss his Russian contacts with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting several investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

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"Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry," said Jamie Gorelick, one of his attorneys.

Earlier meetings between Trump associates and the Russians are also being examined by the FBI, according to a former senior intelligence official. Kushner and Kislyak -- along with close Trump adviser and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- were present at an April 2016 meeting where then-candidate Trump promised in a speech to seek better relations with Russia.

Several events led to the FBI investigation. On Feb. 13, Trump fired former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn after it was revealed that Flynn misled the public and also top White House officials about about his communications with a Russian ambassador regarding sanctions.

On May 9, Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading a criminal investigation into whether Trump's advisers colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

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On May 16, a memo surfaced which revealed that Trump tried to pressure Comey into ceasing the investigation of Flynn. "I hope you can let this go," wrote Trump to Comey in the memo.

In response to the controversy over the sudden firing of Comey, and over the contents of the memo, the Justice Department on May 17 appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former FBI director, as special counsel to oversee the investigation into possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

Investigators are also looking broadly into possible financial crimes, according to other Washington Post sources who are said to be in a position to know, but they did not specify whom or what was being examined.

Sources: The Washington Post, NBC News / Photo credit: Lori Berkowitz Photography via Wikimedia Commons

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