President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top advisor, Jared Kushner, is no stranger to controversy. Truth be told, reported controversies about the business practices employed by both the Trump and Kushner families go back for decades. Like President Trump himself, Kushner has found that being part of the U.S. government has opened their business dealings to a much higher level of scrutiny. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, into alleged collusion between the Trump election campaign team and Russia, has thrust Jared Kushner and his business dealings to a level of heightened scrutiny that Kushner would only have imagined in his worst nightmares.
As reported by Associated Press, the latest scandal to surround Jared Kushner is the claim that a Kushner real estate company routinely filed “false” housing reports with the city of New York. Those alleged fake reports enabled Kushner to force tenants out of three New York apartment buildings that he purchased in 2015. Those purportedly fake reports took away the special protection enjoyed by residents in those blocks and enabled Kushner to sell the properties two years later, netting himself a tidy $20 million profit.
As reported by the New York Daily News, Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative, called the actions of Kushner Cos. “bare-faced greed” and “sordid.”
“The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment.”
Of course, this allegation of shady business dealings is not the only ongoing controversy surrounding Jared Kushner.
Jared Kushner: A Man Mired In Controversy
It should be pointed out that Jared Kushner has not been convicted, or indeed charged, with any crime at this point in time. However, the allegations and rumors that surround Kushner cannot be ignored.
As reported earlier this month by The Hill, Kushner recently had his security clearance level downgraded. Kushner is charged with a broad foreign policy portfolio, including delicate negotiations with countries like China. It is might be unthinkable that Kushner could go into those negotiations without some of the top-level intelligence briefings that he should no longer be allowed to see. In effect, Kushner’s inability to pass his security clearance means that he might not be effectively doing his job.
The Hill article also points out that Kushner stands accused of securing huge loans for the Kushner company on the back of his role as the senior White House advisor.
As Vox points out, Jared Kushner is mired in literally dozens of controversies. These range from allegations that Kushner uses his White House status to secure loans for his businesses, through money laundering, to corrupt business practice and election meddling.
Of all the allegations against Jared Kushner, it is his exposure to the Mueller investigation that is the most interesting, and potentially the most damaging for both him and for President Donald Trump.
How Does The Mueller Investigation Affect Jared Kushner?
Jared Kushner’s exposure to scrutiny by the Mueller investigation arguably began is June 2016, when at the height of the presidential election campaign, Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort met with Russian officials at Trump Tower. It is alleged that the sole purpose of that meeting was to gather information from Russian sources that would damage Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.
As the report by Vox points out, Kushner ran the digital aspects of Trump’s media campaigns. Mueller has already laid charges against numerous Russians and Russian entities; those charges relate to attempts by Russians to influence the outcome of the U.S. election. It is now widely accepted that Russian hackers and bot sites were utilized to spread misinformation and fake stories during the election campaign. Mueller is reportedly examining whether the Trump campaign was involved in this activity.
Kushner’s contacts with Russia, both during and after Trump’s election campaign, are also reportedly under scrutiny by Mueller. Former national security advisor General Michael Flynn claims that he was under orders by a “senior Trump official” during his contacts with Russia. Oddly, some of those meetings were not disclosed until the Mueller investigation began.
It has been clear for several months that the Mueller investigation has been “following the money.” As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates focused on alleged money laundering and corrupt business practices. As suggested by CNBC, Mueller appears to be following the same path with Jared Kushner. They claim that Mueller is investigating whether “Jared Kushner’s talks with foreigners during the presidential transition later affected White House policies toward those people.” It would probably be reasonable to assume that Mueller will also look closely at whether those contacts led to personal benefit to Kushner.
According to report in Newsweek earlier this month, President Trump has even considered firing both Kushner and first daughter Ivanka Trump. Even for Donald Trump, that would be an extraordinary step.
When the Mueller investigation finally ends, it would seem entirely possible that Kushner may face indictment. Whether he will still be part of the Trump administration at that time remains to be seen.