Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has cut a plea deal with Michael Flynn, his next logical target is Jared Kushner. In fact Kushner seems to know it, as he began trying to hire a crisis management firm the day the Flynn deal was announced. Flynn and Kushner have overlapping interactions with the Russians, meaning Flynn can give (and surely already has given) Mueller information he can use to try to take Kushner down. But now Mueller is signaling that he has far more on Kushner than merely what he’s gotten from Flynn.
The reporting on the Trump transition team emails makes a point of mentioning that “sensitive” emails from Jared Kushner were involved. No other members of the transition team are mentioned by name. Although there are some who steadfastly believed that Mueller would never leak anything under any circumstances, the reality is that he almost certainly leaked this information as a warning shot to Trump and his handlers, amid buzz that Trump might try to fire him. So it stands out that Kushner was the only name included in this leak. So what does it tell us?
Let’s take everything else that’s transpired in the past two weeks since Flynn’s plea deal. A series of planted stories appeared in major news outlets which asserted that Donald Trump had told Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to resign from the White House and move back to New York City for their own good, and that Kushner’s role in the White House was all but depleted anyway. Then the Trump administration announced it was moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, seemingly Kushner’s crowning (perhaps only?) political achievement. It’s seemed like he’s been laying the groundwork for his exit from the White House.
Now we have Jared Kushner trying to hire a crisis management team, even as Robert Mueller publicly reminds him of just how much evidence he’s holding over him. Mueller is signaling that, one way or the other, it’s all over for Kushner: cut a deal or prepare to be arrested. Kushner seems to be preparing for what comes next.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report