Jared Kushner, the man who vowed to bring peace to the Middle East, has given his father-in-law another good reason to throw him under the bus. There were already plenty of reasons, not least the fact that Kushner is suspected to be one of the people Mueller may have indicted in the Russia investigation. Now, Kushner has been found to be withholding emails from Wikileaks.
Jared Kushner, currently an advisor to Donald Trump in the White House, is said to have shared emails from Wikileaks to members of Trump’s top team in the final stages of last year’s election. Most intriguing is his claim of a “backdoor overture” from Russia. A Senate judiciary committee, also investigating links between Trump and Russia, said that documents were known to exist but were not included in Kushner’s handover of files to investigators.
The link to Wikileaks is significant as they were responsible for publishing emails that had been stolen after the Democrats were hacked. Details of the ‘backdoor overture’ are not clear, but the group contacted Kushner over Twitter and the overture included a dinner invite. It is still not known when this invite was or who was involved.
Kushner claims that his refusal to hand over some documents was justified based on the idea that it would violate the president’s executive privilege. Such files included material he submitted to apply for high-level security clearance. He maintains that he has been responsive and cooperative to all requests for information.
Despite protesting his innocence, Donald Trump has been quick to throw him under the bus, complaining that Kushner was a major influence in firing James Comey although such reports have not been verified. Other events, such as meeting with Russian officials in Trump Tower to get information about Hilary Clinton, had led many to speculate that Kushner helped Russia interfere with the 2016 election.
He was not the only one as Donald Trump Jr. was also in contact with Wikileaks. One of their requests was to Tweet a link to wlsearch.tk, a search tool that facilitates the exploration of the database of leaked emails from John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman. By the time Trump Jr. tweeted the link, urging people who “had the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy”, the emails were in the process of being published.
Such a revelation will be particularly damning for Donald Trump and of great interest to Robert Mueller. There is already speculation that Mueller plans to use Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, as leverage to pressure Trump. As expected, the event itself is made worse by the attempted cover-up, by hiding some of the major details. If you find it difficult to explain how something was legal or justified, that usually means that you shouldn’t have done it.
Jared Kushner is going to face more awkward questions from Congress and Mueller. Wikileaks may have helped his father-in-law win the presidency, but now Trump, Kushner and their cronies must pay the price.