Jared Kushner, senior advisor to Donald Trump (and his son in law) is now under FBI and congressional investigation due to a private meeting he had with a Russian banker during the presidential transition.
According to The Washington Post, Kushner was, at the time, attempting to establish a secret channel of communication to Putin; however, it is unclear what Kushner and the banker, Sergey N. Gorkov, were discussing in this meeting. The New York Times reports that Gorkov is the head of a major Russian bank, Vneshconombank, which has strong ties with the Russian government.
Kushner met with Gorkov at the request of Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, whom he (as well as several other campaign officials) had a meeting with in Trump Tower in December. Kushner failed to disclose these meetings when applying for security clearance with his White House job.
This is a big mess that is not going away any time soon. Because of this embarrassing and time consuming Russia investigation and our less than forthright administration, the government has been rendered incompetent at best and malicious at worst. The Kushner connection, particularly, is a problem of Trump’s own nepotism and horrible judgment.
All during the campaign, Trump boasted that he would hire the “best” people. In reality, scantily qualified stooges are running the government into the ground. It is not likely that Kushner would act without Trump’s knowledge or request, of course. But it is highly likely that Kushner thought that he could get away with his dishonesty and that his experience in business would make up for his inexperience in government.
Nepotism and money now (and always have) run deep in our politics, and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are now prime examples of how dangerous and unethical this can be. For example, Kushner donated heavily to Democratic Senator Cory Booker’s campaign for Newark mayor, around $20,000. Now Booker is shying away from his party’s calls for Trump’s impeachment and the revoking of Kushner’s security clearance. This is important.
Kushner lied and attempted to secretly establish communication between Trump and Putin. This is without a doubt a fireable offense for a member of government. Yet, Kushner’s relationship with the president and no doubt, his money and influence, will protect him while endangering US citizens.