Investigators employed by special counsel Robert Mueller are looking into presidential adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner’s conversations with Israeli officials during the presidential transition process, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Last December, the Obama administration chose not to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that was critical of Israeli settlement construction. In the run-up to that vote, Israeli leaders reportedly made contact with several top Trump officials, including Kushner and Steve Bannon, in order to get Trump to help stop either the vote or the Obama administration’s plan not to veto it. Those contacts are the one of the subjects of Mueller’s line of inquiry, the Journal reported.
Kushner, whom President Trump charged with forging an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, is known to be close with Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who once slept in Kushner’s childhood bedroom.
Mueller’s team is reportedly also looking at Kushner’s role in setting up other meetings and discussions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, as well as his role in the firing of FBI director James Comey.
Kushner encouraged Trump to fire Comey, according to multiple reports. The president reportedly now blames him for giving him that advice, which ultimately lead to Mueller’s appointment.
While inquiries about the Israeli government may seem far removed from Mueller’s mandate to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Journal noted that “investigators typically ask a host of questions over the course of a probe, and inquiries don’t necessarily indicate suspicion. Mr. Kushner figures into several events that Mr. Mueller is investigating, including a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer at Trump Tower” — which Kushner originally failed to disclose on his security clearance forms.