Jared Kushner is the target of a quickly moving Russia investigation, new reports claim, a sign that the investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia is closing in on his inner circle.
The top White House aide is reportedly the focus of a law enforcement investigation into ties between Russian and Donald Trump’s campaign, one that was confirmed this week by Sen. Lindsey Graham to be a criminal investigation. A report from the Washington Post on Friday claimed that investigators had “identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest,” a sign that the Russia investigation had reached the highest levels of Trump’s administration.
While the report did not name Jared Kushner as the target of the investigation, several sources have already identified it as Trump’s son-in-law, one of the closest in his inner circle. This includes Daily Beast reporter Yashar Ali as well as journalist and former White House staff member Claude Taylor, who both named Jared Kushner as the target.
Taylor has cited sources deep within the intelligence community to break several other aspects of the Russia investigation, including the existence of grand juries convened in response to the investigation of Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.
As the Washington Post reported, the Russia investigation was expected to ramp up in the coming weeks and is still focused on other former Trump associates, including some who played key roles in the 2016 campaign.
“The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said.
“The sources emphasized that investigators remain keenly interested in people who previously wielded influence in the Trump campaign and administration but are no longer part of it, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”
This week, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named a special counsel for the Russia investigation, which came after growing bipartisan pressure for a special counsel to lead the investigation. His appointment came after Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and amid reports that Trump had asked Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Even before the reports that he was the subject of the Russian investigation, Jared Kushner’s role in the White House has come under scrutiny — including his role in a recently completed $100 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Kushner reportedly shepherded the deal through personally, including making a personal phone call to Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson asking if she could cut the price, the New York Times reported.
Jared Kushner masterminds $110bn US weapons deal with Saudi Arabiahttps://t.co/sWZ7bDKl7u
— JBE (@msjbe20a) May 19, 2017
“Mr. Kushner, White House officials said, began building ties to members of the Saudi royal family during the transition,” the report noted. “He was at the table when his father-in-law hosted the deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at a lunch in the State Dining Room in March. And he offered a strategic overview of the Saudi-American relationship at the meeting this month, according to an agenda obtained by The New York Times.”
I will have more information soon that ties Jared Kushner directly to the criminal investigation now under way. https://t.co/yza8Jw5fnf
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) May 19, 2017
There was also a report this week from the Wall Street Journal that Kushner met with the CEO of a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions, a bank that helped finance the construction of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto.
While it was not yet clear what exactly the Russia investigation would focus on regarding Jared Kushner, reports indicate that it was part of a criminal investigation.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]