Politics

FBI Probe Into Russian Meddling Sets Sights On Kushner

| by Erik Kindel

The FBI's widening probe into Russian interference to benefit President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign now reportedly includes Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

According to multiple U.S. officials, the senior advisor had become a person of interest to investigators who believe Kushner has access to a significant amount of information relevant to the inquiry, NBC News reports. Officials said that although Kushner has come under scrutiny from the probe, he is not suspected of a crime or facing charges.

However, it does indicate how far-reaching the FBI's sprawling, spiraling investigation has become. Kushner is the first person within Trump's innermost circle to be included by the FBI, and suggests that if there were collusion with the Russians during the campaign, then it would extend to almost every level of office within the Trump administration.

Kushner, 36, is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka and the two have become trusted advisors to the president.

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The focus of Kushner's involvement in the Russian investigation centers on meetings with at least two Russian officials --Moscow's ambassador to the U.S. and a banking executive, ABC News reports.

The meeting with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, is significant because of how many members of Trump's campaign team he met during the course of Trump's meteoric rise within the GOP. Both Kushner and Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security advisor at the center of this probe, met with Kislyak at Trump Tower in December during Trump's transition.

Kushner's meeting with the Russian banker in December draws suspicion because it came at the suggestion of Kislyak. Though the White House says the conversation was "general and inconsequential," the bank described it to ABC News as a "negotiation" during which "the parties discussed the business practices applied by foreign development banks, as well as most promising business lines and sectors."

Kushner's real-estate empire has come under fire for its close connection to Russian investments and its possible influencing role on Kushner's decisions. Kushner's meeting with the bank took place as Kushner Companies sought investors for redevelopment of a skyscraper it owns.

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Kushner can often be spotted in the Oval Office beside Trump, or on many of the president's frequent trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Kushner even accompanied the president on his first international trip, and was included in Trump's audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

He is the most immediate member of Trump's inner circle to be implicated in the FBI's investigation.

Sources: NBC News, ABC News / Photo Credit: Dominique A. Pineiro via Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

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