Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is reportedly investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, who is the son-in-law of President Trump and adviser. Mueller will look into Kushner will also investigating any possible involvement on the part of the president in the alleged meddling by Russia in the 2016 general election. The Washington Post cited anonymous sources for the breaking story. The investigation is now looking into whether Trump obstructed justice. Last week, former FBI Director James Comey denied that Trump was the subject of investigation.
The FBI and federal prosecutors are also investigating the financial dealings of Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and foreign-policy adviser Carter Page. The Post said that its sources provided the information in exchange for anonymity.
Earlier, the Washington Post had reported that investigators were investigating Kushner’s December 2016 meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and then with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a state-owned Russian development bank. At the time, there was no report that FBI was investigating Kushner’s business dealings. According to the report, Kushner suggested to Kislyak the establishment of a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Russian government at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to U.S. officials who reviewed intelligence reports who described Kislyak’s account.
The pre-inauguration meeting, according to the White House, was not related to business. However, Vnesheconombank -- a Russian bank which has been the subject of U.S. sanctions -- claims that the meeting was held for business reasons because of Kushner’s role as head of his family’s real estate company. Supposedly, the meeting was held because Kushner’s company was seeking financing for the $1.8 billion needed to buy an office building in New York.
It is not clear whether any criminal charges may ensue when Mueller’s investigation is complete. In an email to the Post, Kushner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said that it is standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records related to Russia. He added that Kushner had already volunteered to provide information to Congress about Russia, and is willing to do the same with Mueller’s inquiry.
Kushner has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his contacts with Russia. The committee is conducting one of the investigations into Russia’s purported role in the 2016 election. Last week, former FBI Director James Comey testified and admitted that he had leaked the contents of a private conversation he had with the president in February. This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared before the committee and denied having substantial meetings with Russians.
Trump tweeted on Thursday that the investigation is “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!” He also compared the situation with the abortive investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Barack Obama’s secretary of state. He wrote: “Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, ‘bleached’ emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?”
Comey confirmed in his Senate testimony last week that he told Trump three times that the president was not under investigation. The first time Comey did so was on January 6. At each of his three meetings with Trump, Comey subsequently wrote memoranda that recorded his recollection of their conversations. One of these Comey admitted to have leaked to The New York Times. In addition, the news that Trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice was also leaked.