During Thursday night’s January 6th public hearing, we saw video footage of everyone from Bill Barr to Ivanka Trump acknowledging that Donald Trump knew he’d lost the 2020 election. They seemed to want to insulate themselves from Donald’s subsequent actions, by throwing him under the bus.
But Jared Kushner’s testimony came off rather differently – at least in the brief clip that the committee chose to publicly air. Kushner weirdly said that he was too busy working on “pardons” to have been involved in Donald Trump’s election plot. Kushner also rather arrogantly stated that when White House Counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to resign over Trump’s plot to overthrow the election, Kushner wrote of Cipollone’s words as mere “whining.”
Again, this was just the one brief clip of Kushner that the committee has chosen to air so far. Kushner reportedly testified for several hours, and more of that footage will surely air during upcoming hearings. But this one clip of Kushner was just bizarre. Even as his wife and Bill Barr were trying to pin it all on Trump, Kushner seemed to be trying to dispute the notion that Trump had been properly advised that his post-election plans were legally problematic.
Given that Ivanka and/or Jared got the New York Times to publish an article just ahead of the hearings that claimed they had fully distanced themselves from Donald Trump by the time of his post-election crime spree, we were surprised to hear Kushner try to minimize the White House Counsel’s warnings in his testimony.
But now Rolling Stone is reporting that it was in fact Kushner who “helped start” the plot to overthrow the 2020 election in its earliest stages, according to a “former senior Trump aide.” This same aide claims that Kushner’s involvement “didn’t last long” before he bailed on it, and other Trump people were running the show by the time it got ugly.
So what’s going on here? That’s far from clear. Someone from the Trump White House is trying to throw Kushner under the bus. Does this person have evidence of Kushner’s involvement? Has that evidence been turned over to the January 6th Committee? If so, was it turned over prior to Kushner’s testimony? Is that why his answer about the White House Counsel seemed like such a weird defensive attempt at coming off as arrogant?
If nothing else, if the January 6th Committee didn’t already know about what’s being reported in this new Rolling Stone article, it does now. It feels like we’re at a point where the committee is going to be able to expose all, or nearly all, of what really went on in the Trump White House with regard to the election overthrow plot.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report