After weeks of hand-wringing, it appears that the inevitable has happened: senior presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner has lost his access to the classified presidential daily briefing.
Though it was a spousal abuse scandal that blew open the security clearance scandal, Jared was undone partly by the many questions swirling around Kushner Companies and its potential foreign business partners. As the Washington Post has reported today, his partners in those countries were only half the problem, as the intel community caught wind of government officials in China, the UAE, Israel, and Mexico plotting their exploitation of his business interests to manipulate American policy.
It was already a huge problem when Donald Trump refused to divest from his licensing and golf operation, but unlike his father-in-law, Jared is an actual property developer dealing with much bigger obligations. His refusal to properly divest, and attempts to secure financing from China and Russia, made those issues immeasurably worse.
Also, there’s the matter of Kushner repeatedly amending his disclosure forms every time he was caught in a Russia-related lie. I was beginning to think there were no consequences for this, that the FBI was taking his amended lies as good-faith errors. Apparently, they found it just as unseemly as the rest of us did.
Kushner’s loss is John Kelly’s gain, as his mission to purge the White House of frivolous people hit a wall when he sought to remove frivolous presidential relatives. It’s also a gain for everyone who hated the third world nepotism infecting what was once the world’s greatest democracy, myself included. The open question now is how deep the wedge is driven, and whether Jared Kushner, caught between loyalty to a father-in-law who lusts after the mother of his children and the future of his father’s company, will feel ostracized enough by this turn of events to cut a deal with Robert Mueller.
New York-based freelancer, political junkie, and member of the loyal opposition.