Kushner questioned by special counsel

Kushner questioned by special counsel
Senior advisor to the White House Jared Kushner was questioned in November 2017 by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators about the former national..

Senior advisor to the White House Jared Kushner was questioned in November 2017 by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators about the former national security adviser Michael Flynn

Background

Michael Thomas Flynn is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General.  He was appointed by President Barack Obama as the eighteenth director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and served till 2014 in that capacity. He founded the Flynn Intel Group which has provided intelligence services for businesses and governments across the world. He was one of the most passionate advocates for Donald Trump during the Presidential campaign. He gave speeches on behalf of Trump and was highly critical of Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. He even led chants of “Lock her up” in various occasions during Trump rallies.

After the elections, Flynn was appointed the National Security Advisor for President Donald Trump. He served from January 20th, 2017, to February 13th, 2017. He was forced to after information surfaced that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. On April 27, 2017, the Pentagon inspector general announced an investigation into whether Flynn had accepted money from foreign governments without the required approval.

Jared Kushner, who is the Senior Advisor in the White House and he is also Trump’s son-in-law. He was reportedly one of the main driving forces behind Trump’s decision to fire then FBI director James Comey. He was also present at a meeting with Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya. The person who set up that meeting stated that he had information about Hillary Clinton from Russian players.

US intelligence agencies believe that Russia had interfered in the US presidential elections. In May 2017, the Department of Justice (DoJ) appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the investigation into the Russian interference and related matters. He is also investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the elections. Three campaign aides including former Chairman of the Trump Presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, have been indicted.

 

Analysis

According to media reports, federal investigators have collated enough evidence to bring charges against Michael Flynn and Michael Flynn Jr. This is part of the probe investigating Russia’s interference of the Presidential elections. He is also reportedly under investigation over a plot to kidnap a Turkish dissident cleric living in the US. The plot involved flying Fethullah Gülen to an Island prison in Turkey in return for $15 million.

Reports have since emerged that Jared Kushner had been called in for questioning by the special counsel regarding Flynn. Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell confirmed the news noting, "Mr. Kushner has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so.”  The questioning reportedly took about 90 minutes or less and was aimed in part at establishing whether Kushner had any information on Flynn that might be exculpatory.

Flynn is not the first person who might be indicted by the special counsel. Former Chairmen of the Trump presidential campaign, Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates have been indicted have been indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, false statements. In addition, a campaign aide, George Papadopoulos was the first person to plead guilty. He confessed to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.

Assessment

Our assessment is that there are now clear indications that General Flynn and possibly his son may be the next to be indicted. If he is indicted, then he would become the senior most member of the Trump administration to formally face charges. This could also result in his trying to cut a deal with the investigators by cooperating and that would threaten the very foundation of the Trump Presidency. 

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