President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is at risk because of Michael Flynn’s testimony to the Russia investigation, a former assistant to special counsel Robert Mueller suggested.
Kushner, who comes from a wealthy real estate family, is married to the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump. The businessman is also a White House adviser on foreign policy with a focus on Israel-Palestine.
Flynn is a retired lieutenant-general who served as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor for just 24 days. He admitted lying to the FBI about his contact with the then Russian ambassador in Washington, D.C. Sergey Kislyak during the Trump team’s transition to government.
In a sentencing memorandum, Mueller recommended that Flynn serve no jail time because of his extensive cooperation with the Russia investigation.
Mueller is probing Russian interference in the 2016 election and suspicions of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.
Flynn gave 19 interviews to Mueller’s investigation and two others though the details of those are redacted in the memo. He also provided documentation to the investigations.
During a CNN panel discussion Tuesday night, host Brianna Keilar asked Michael Zeldin, who worked as an assistant to Mueller in the Justice Department back in the 1990s, if Kushner should be concerned about Flynn’s cooperation with Mueller because the two men had worked “so closely” together.
“Depending on what Kushner has said when he’s been interviewed by Congress and elsewhere,” said Zeldin, who is a CNN legal analyst.
“We know from Mueller that if you lie to him or you lie to government generally, you’re going to get charged with a crime. We don’t know what Kushner said.
“We do know that Kushner, K.T. McFarland [Trump’s former deputy natsec advisor], Michael Flynn were all transition people who were actively engaged in communications with Russians and others at the UN around the Palestinian settlements issue.
“And so if Mueller feels that there was misstatements by them, or that they’ve somehow obstructed something to do with his investigation, then maybe they have something to worry about.
“But it’s pretty speculative at this point, but those are the names that come to mind.”
Kushner has spoken to both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees during their own Russian investigations, though his testimony was behind closed doors. He has also met at least twice with Mueller to answer questions.
However, Kushner also released his own public statement to Congress in which he said he had “hardly any” contact with Russia or Russian representatives during the Trump campaign, though he did admit to meeting the Russian ambassador among other Russians.
He also took part in the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer touting dirt on Hillary Clinton, the president’s Democratic rival for the White House, which is a focus of Mueller’s inquiries.
But in his statement, Kushner called the meeting, at which the president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. and his then campaign manager Paul Manafort were also present, a “waste of time.”
“I arrived at the meeting a little late,” Kushner said. “When I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children.
“I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting.”