Jared Kushner is screwed – and there’s no other way to put it. In the midst of a twenty-four hour period of leaks which have revealed everything from Kushner having tried to set up a secret backchannel with the Russians, to the FBI now investigating Kushner’s activities, here comes the part that’s going to sink him: he was making phone calls to the Russian Ambassador dating back to early 2016. The key is where this information is coming from.
This latest story has been broken by Reuters, and reveals that Jared Kushner and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak had multiple phone calls dating back to April 2016 (link). Reuters says it got the information from “seven current and former U.S. officials.” Now stop and think about how those U.S. officials would know about these phone calls.
It’s already widely known that the U.S. intel community has a longstanding eavesdropping warrant on Kislyak. In fact Michael Flynn’s transition period phone calls to Kislyak were discovered because the U.S. had Kislyak’s phone tapped. This means that the U.S. intelligence community also intercepted these phone calls between Kushner and Kislyak. But they took place before the election.
You see where this is going, right? Flynn’s phone calls during the transition period were only illegal because he discussed sanctions. And Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak during the transition period was only illegal if it can be demonstrated that his weird plan for a secret backchannel was for the purpose of conducting activities that were legal in and of themselves. But those were all after election day.
But Kushner’s phone calls to Kislyak during the campaign could only have been for the sake of election collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. And the sourcing of this Reuters piece makes fairly clear that the U.S. intel community intercepted those calls and has them as evidence. By default, the European intel community would have intercepted it as well. When it comes out that those phone calls were for the purpose of rigging the election, Kushner is finished – and how much damage will Trump do to himself by trying to save him? If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report