Every day seems to bring some more bad news for Jared Kushner, the presidential son-in-law and top adviser.
The latest comes from a massive document dump of off-shore bank accounts, provided by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The so-called “Paradise Papers” offer a trove of information about accounts used by international billionaires to stash their earnings with minimal oversight. They also provide some new information regarding Jared Kushner’s business ties with Russian investors.
The papers reveal that a Russian state bank and state oil company poured billions into financial projects set up by Yuri Milner, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Milner participated in several Kushner family real estate projects and helped fund Cadre, a healthcare startup that Kushner co-owned (which he initially did not include on his official financial disclosure form).
In simpler terms, Russian money, controlled by the Putin government, made its way, through Milner, to Kushner companies and projects.
These new revelations add to the growing list of Russian ties Kushner maintained before entering politics, some of which he maintained during the presidential campaign.
“Kushner failing to disclose contacts with Russians has become a familiar pattern,” the Huffington Post concluded when reporting on the new document dump.
With the new information provided by the Paradise Papers, the list of known Kushner ties to Russia now includes discussing a secret communication channel with the Russian ambassador to Washington; meeting with the head of a Russian state-owned bank during the campaign; attending a meeting organized by Donald Trump Jr. with a Russian lawyer; and using Russian money through Milner to fund real estate projects.
In all cases, Kushner failed to disclose his Russian connections in a timely fashion, leading Democratic lawmakers to call for Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked.
It is still unclear whether Kushner received any information or knew in any way of the actions taken by former campaign adviser George Papadopolous to foster closer ties with the Russian government during the campaign. Papadopoulos, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, reportedly talked to top campaign officials, including Donald Trump, about his discussions with Russian officials. While Kushner’s name has not come up in this context, Papadopolous is cooperating with investigators and could supply information about talks with Kushner, if those took place.
Kushner himself is cooperating with the investigation, and last week handed over documents to special counsel Robert Mueller relating to Kushner’s own Russian ties, as well as his role in the dismissal of FBI director James Comey. Sources close to Mueller told CNN that Kushner is not the target of the investigation, but could still be a valuable asset, especially if faced with the need to choose between providing information to Mueller or facing charges like Manafort.
“I expect there’s a good likelihood Jared Kushner will be indicted for money laundering, and then we’re going to see how far this Russian involvement goes,” former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean told MSNBC Monday, pointing to the Paradise Papers as providing the information supporting such a charge.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Paradise Papers Tie Kushner Startup To Russian Money