Sunday, May 28, 2017

Jared Kushner Is In Deep Trouble (And So Is Trump)

Reuters is now reporting that Jared Kushner failed to report at least three contacts with Russian officials (two phone calls and one meeting in person). This means he lied to get his current top secret clearance.

But it gets even worse. It is now being reported that Kushner (along with Micheal Flynn) met with Russian officials right after the election (and before Trump was sworn in). In that meeting Kushner and Flynn proposed to the Russians that they wanted to create a secret channel of communication with Russia -- a channel that would use Russian secure facilities, and would bypass both the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies.

One might wonder why Trump would need or want such a secret channel to communicate with Russia. Were they planning to discuss things the U.S. government and the American people would not like? Would it have been a way to discuss paying back the Russians for collusion with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election?

It goes without saying that setting up such a channel would have been illegal (since Trump was not yet president), and may even be illegal after he assumed office. Former acting head of the CIA, John McLaughlin called it espionage. Intelligence expert Malcom Nance said:

Had any individual other than these individuals who worked immediately for President Trump, performed these actions at any time in the SF-86 security clearance process, they would have immediately had their clearances pulled. They would have had their jobs terminated. Some of these contacts are so suspicious that they would have warranted their own counterintelligence investigation. This nation is in a counterintelligence investigation. They are in a spy hunt over at the FBI, and now we have this story—should it prove true—of an American citizen who is the senior adviser to the president of the United States, attempting to establish what we call in the intelligence community ‘covert communications’ with a hostile nation's potential intelligence agency or senior leadership. That brings you -- that crosses the line to the espionage act of 1917. This cannot be explained. Put aside the other 18 contacts with Moscow. This one incident requires Jared Kushner and all of his immediate staff to have their clearances pulled right now and to have the FBI descend on there and to determine whether this is hostile intelligence in the White House one step from the president.

This is a serious allegation. If it is true (and there's no reason to believe it isn't), then the Russian collusion has reached the highest levels of the Trump administration. Kushner is not only Trump's closest advisor, bur he is family. Would he act in such a way (contacting Russian officials) without the knowledge and permission of Donald Trump? That's extremely doubtful.

That means Trump is not only guilty of trying to obstruct justice by trying to convince FBI director Comes and two intelligence chiefs to stop the Russian scandal investigation, but is also guilty of collusion with Russian officials before the election and possible espionage after the election.

Jared Kushner is in deep trouble. At the very least, he should resign his position in the White House and give up his security clearance. And Kushner's trouble touch the president himself -- and make it even more likely that Trump could well face being impeached.

(NOTE -- The caricature above of Jared Kushner is by DonkeyHotey.)

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