We all know the story: he was hired by Donald Trump for a senior position in the White House, despite having held secret meetings with the Russians and lied about it to the government. He eventually found himself under scrutiny by the Feds due to those inappropriate Russian contacts, leading to the question of whether his security clearance should be revoked. But am I talking about Michael Flynn or Jared Kushner?
As of today, the above description now fits both of them to a tee. Jared Kushner of May 2017 is now Michael Flynn of February 2017. Sure, Flynn comes off as an angry loser while Kushner comes off as an intellectual waif. But they’re both being probed by the FBI for having inappropriately danced with Russia in an election cycle in which Russia was rigging the election for their boss.
The innocence or guilt of Kushner and Flynn will have to be individually determined as the investigation goes on. But for now, we should be looking at these two men in the exact same way. The only real difference, of course, is that one of them is married to Donald Trump’s favorite daughter. Which means Trump will handle this differently.
In other words, Donald Trump will leave Jared Kushner in place in the White House no matter how deep the investigation into Kushner goes, or how much evidence piles up against him. Trump was eventually willing to leave Flynn hanging out to dry, nudging him to resign, making him a fall guy in the process. But Trump won’t dare to that to Kushner, because he won’t dare to that to Ivanka. And so now we have a problem.
When Sally Yates informed the White House that Michael Flynn had been compromised by Russia, she did so because he had determined that Flynn was susceptible to being blackmailed by the Russians. That means there’s now equal reason to worry that Russia might blackmail Kushner. In fact Congressman Ted Lieu came out and said it today: “Security clearance for Jared Kushner must be suspended NOW. Russians now know he is vulnerable & can leverage him with real or fake threats.” (link).
So what now? If Trump is unwilling to deal with his son-in-law Kushner in a manner which would be considered appropriate for any senior White House official being investigated by the FBI for improper meetings with a hostile foreign power, then the intel community itself must work to revoke Kushner’s clearance. Cut him off now, before this gets any worse. Because for all their outward differences, Jared Kushner is now merely Michael Flynn.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report