Friday, May 26, 2017
Jared Kushner and the Trump Corruption Scandal
Well there he was at the Western Wall the other day, trying to look as pious as possible.
But when you're Donald Trump that's not easy.
No matter how hard you try...
And by the time he visited the pope his first family act was looking a little monstrous...
Or as it turns out, looking a bit like an FBI line-up.
Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said.
For what makes this new development so significant is that it's making Trump's Russian scandal look more and more like a corruption scandal.
Ominously for Trump, the Post reports that the FBI is “determining whether any financial crimes were committed by people close to the president.” While Kushner’s public persona differs wildly from that of the president in the functioning of his real-estate work, he is a kind of mini Trump. Inheriting an empire from his father, he has operated in gray areas of the world economy and positioned himself to gain handsomely from Trump’s election.
Because corruption, as opposed to spying, is something the Trumps do well...
And it also explains why Kushner, who along with his wife Ivanka is considered a moderate compared to the other Trumps, wanted James Comey fired so badly.
That fact may seem strange if one thinks of Kushner as a voice of pragmatism. But it is easier to understand if you think of him as a figure sitting near the heart of a financial scandal, who harbors a strong interest in suppressing the investigation.
Because he himself is a predatory capitalist, and learned what he knows from his felon father.
As 36-year-old Jared Kushner settles into a White House role that includes personnel decisions and Middle East peace, the most extensive organizational experience he has to draw from is his lifetime at the closely held family real estate company, where his father is once again deeply involved.
“The perception is, if you’re interacting with his family, you’re also interacting with Jared, even if it’s indirectly,” said Andrew D. Herman, a lawyer who’s represented many members of Congress on ethics issues. “It will be impossible to know when a decision is made for policy reasons or because it benefits his family in some way.”
As well as what he learned from hanging out with Mike Flynn, the man the Russians were apparently planning to play like a fiddle...
So Jared has probably been learning all the wrong things, with all the wrong people, in all the wrong places.
But as Charles Blow writes, one of the great mysteries of the Trump gang is why the Donald is so loyal to that deranged general?
This level of extreme fealty is puzzling. It extends beyond basic loyalty to an early supporter. It seems to me that there is something else at play here, something as yet unknown. Trump’s attachment to Flynn strikes me less as an act of fidelity and more as an exercise in fear. What does Flynn know that Trump doesn’t want the world to know?
And if it's loyalty rather than fear, what he might do to protect Jared Kushner, the husband of his beloved Ivanka?
Answer: just about ANYTHING.
And the good news?
Family ties may bind. But when a predatory capitalist is bound to a predatory president.
All it takes is one mistake.
And they'll both end up in the same place...