A mostly silent and ghoulish figure in the Trump administration, Jared Kushner has fared a bit better than others in the Trump orbit, at least as a daily target of public outrage, due to his willingness to maintain a mannequin-like demeanor in the face of mounting criticism of everything from who pays his lawyers to his involvement in the Jamal Khashoggi murder.
Possible involvement? No. Alleged involvement? Uh-uh. His contacts with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin-Salman – who anyone with a shred of integrity can recognize orchestrated the assassination based on known facts and simple reason – are well documented both before and after. The New York Times reports that Kushner huddled with bin-Salman “about how to weather the storm” after the Washington Post journalist was choked to death by Saudi agents under bin-Salman’s command and subsequently dismembered last year.
The White House has objected to the assessment, which is a bizarre strategy, as it raises more suspicions than it removes. But what else can Trump and his propaganda goblins claim? It’s public knowledge that Kushner met with bin-Salman after the murder. If they admit to the fact that bin-Salman ordered it, how can they possibly explain that meeting? Another lose-lose situation for an organization steeped in what gathering evidence shows is wanton criminality on an international scale, run by meatheads who lack the talent or intelligence to manage the fallout of their desperate actions.
I’ll give you a hundred million riyals if you can find anyone to credibly argue that Kushner would have turned down an influx of big cash after he searched the world for bailout money to rescue him from financial ruin, seeing as his record $1.8 billion purchase of a 41-story tower at 666 Fifth Ave in Manhattan in 2007 proved to be an unwise investment right before criminally irresponsible real estate scammers helped melt the economy. Real meathead move. And Kushner didn’t get that bailout until last summer, when an investor swooped in and leased 666 Kushner Tower office space. Terms undisclosed, but it would be Trumpian to trumpet a nice return. Loud silence.
As for Kushner and the Khashoggi murder, what’s next? That likely depends on what strategy Robert Mueller and SDNY decide to coordinate. We don’t know what evidence they have, or, crucially, their timeline, but considering the ineptitude of those involved in the criminal plotting, they likely left many tracks uncovered (see: Cohen tapes, Stone terabyte trove). Is it more believable that Trump greenlit the murder, or that he didn’t? The answer appears obvious, but even accessory to murder is only one of many avenues that investigators are delving into. They won’t false start, even for murder.
Charging Jared Kushner would rock the world, but to a much lesser degree than implicating Donald Trump would. Hell, Trump could appear to toss Kushner to the wolves and then pardon him later in some dark and childish shared fantasy. Evidence is scarce that they’ve ever really known what they’re doing. That theme of ineptitude suggests that the Khashoggi murder is no different. And Kushner is exposed most of all.
Chuck is a former community reporter, columnist, and Army veteran