Special Counsel Mueller Now Probing Kushner’s Contacts With Israeli Officials During Transition, WSJ
In a startling illustration of just how expansive Mueller’s investigation of the Trump administration has become, the Wall Street Journal now reports that the Special Counsel’s team is looking into meetings that Jared Kushner may have conducted with Israeli officials in the days leading up to an important U.N. vote on the construction of settlements in disputed territories on December 23, 2016.
Robert Mueller’s investigators are asking questions about Jared Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, including his involvement in a dispute at the United Nations in December, in a sign of the expansive nature of the special counsel’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the election, according to people familiar with the matter.
The investigators have asked witnesses questions about the involvement of Mr. Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, in a controversy over a U.N. resolution passed Dec. 23 that condemned Israel’s construction of settlements in disputed territories, these people said.
Israeli officials had asked the incoming Trump administration to intervene to help block it. Mr. Trump posted a Facebook message the day before the U.N. vote—after he had been elected but before he had assumed office—saying the resolution put the Israelis in a difficult position and should be vetoed. Mr. Trump also held a phone conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, whose government had written a draft of the resolution. Egypt proceeded to call for the vote to be delayed, but the resolution passed the following day, with the Obama administration declining to block it.
Investigators have also asked witnesses about Mr. Kushner’s role in arranging meetings or communication with foreign leaders during the transition, the people said. The special counsel’s mandate gives Mr. Mueller a broad directive to examine any matters arising from the Russia investigation.
These revelations raise new questions over whether Special Counsel Mueller may attempt to use the 1799 Logan Act to apply pressure on Kushner.
A 1799 law called the Logan Act also bars Americans from communicating with a foreign government to influence the government’s actions related to a dispute with the U.S., but no one has ever been successfully prosecuted under the law.
In a statement that Mr. Kushner gave to congressional committees in July, he wrote that at his father-in-law’s request, he served as the main point of contact for foreign countries at a time when it was clear Mr. Trump would be the Republican nominee.
Of course, Kushner is under investigation for a litany of other allegations of wrongdoing ranging from his meeting with a Russian lawyer to inaccuracies on his financial disclosure forms to his role in Comey’s dismissal. Why do we get the sneaking suspicion that Mueller isn’t going to stop pursuing new angles on Kushner until something sticks?