Why Mueller is probing Jared ‘Baby Doc’ Kushner’s biz dealings
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
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.
Part crown prince and part minister without portfolio, the president’s son-in-law has taken on a broad range of issues within the turbulent free-for-all of Trump’s inner circle. Those responsibilities range from Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations to modernizing and streamlining the vast federal bureaucracy. His influence reportedly waned in recent weeks as news of federal investigators’ scrutiny became public, leading to friction between him and the president he advises.
Kushner also reportedly faced some backlash for being among the top internal advocates for firing former FBI Director James Comey last month. Trump’s sudden ouster of Comey triggered a substantial political firestorm against the president and eventually led to Mueller’s appointment as special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, thereby placing the Russia investigation even further from Trump’s direct influence. Whether the latest news about Kushner’s deepening entanglement in the investigation also moves him further from directly influencing his father-in-law remains to be seen.
The 36-year-old is reported to have been bothered by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s decision to appoint Mueller as the special counsel. While Trump’s aides suggested him to release a statement accepting Rosenstein’s decision, Kushner urged the president to counterattack, two senior administration officials told the New York Times in May.
Kushner is also close to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn who was fired by Trump in February after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the contents and nature of his communications with Kislyak.
Reports also said Kushner was not happy with the Russia allegation reports, which he thought damaged his reputation.
Gee, ya think so?