In a new twist in the investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election, Jared Kushner has surrendered documents to Robert Mueller. The documents cover events during the campaign, the transition, and those related to any contacts with Russia. They are similar to the documents Kushner reportedly handed to congressional investigators concerning events last year.
The handing over of the documents comes a few days after indictments were served against Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Gates. The revelation that George Papadopoulos was reportedly ‘flipped’ by Mueller has sent shockwaves through Washington and panic in Trump’s inner circle. While Kushner is not believed to be a target for Mueller’s investigation, the surrender of the documents illustrates just how worried some of Trump’s allies are about the investigation.
Kushner played a big role in Trump’s presidential campaign. He attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between top Trump campaign officials and a cadre of Russian figures, including some with links to the Kremlin. He is believed to have attended the meeting with Manafort on the promise that there was ‘dir’ on Hilary Clinton that they could use. His position in the WQhite House has been controversial with accusations of nepotism, given that he is married to Trump’s daughter, also a key adviser in the White House.
Of particular interest is Kushner’s role in the firing of James Comey. His influence in the decision is unclear at the present time, but investigators are examining the event to see if Trump and his advisors could be charged with obstruction of justice. Witnesses are currently being interviewed to establish Kushner’s role as a close advisor and whether he was a key part of Comey’s dismissal.
Trump has recently turned on Kushner according to some sources, blaming him for his role in firing Comey and Flynn, the latter of which is widely believed to be the next suspect to be indicted. By surrendering documents now, Kushner is perhaps signaling that he is willing to work with Mueller, either to clear his name or to escape the wrath of his father-in-law.
He may have good reason to be worried. Given the charge sheet against Manafort, Mueller is no doubt looking into Trump’s financial affairs and the affairs of his inner circle, including Kushner. This is something that Kushner possibly feared enough to persuade Trump to fire Comey. Not only did it backfire when Comey presented his side of the story, but it led to Mueller’s appointment as special counsel. No wonder Trump is annoyed!
Though not a target, Kushner is an important part of the investigation and he has information on Trump’s actions in power, even a catalyst for some of them. Mueller will be keeping a close eye on the man. The recent handing over of documents indicates that Kushner is aware of the importance of his actions. Perhaps Mueller plans to use Kushner and Ivanka as leverage against Trump in the future?
The walls are closing in around Trump and his band of very un-merry men. After throwing his son-in-law under the bus, Kushner might be hedging his bets with the winning side. His actions concerning Comey will be of particular interest to the investigation.
If Kushner is hung out to dry, he’ll be hanging from his own rope.