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Jared Kushner and Russia Collusion

Kushner Inc. leaves no doubt about Jared Kushner’s corruption–or at least his conflicts of interest while in the Trump campaign and administration. More recently, author Vicky Ward has raised alarms about the Saudis contributing 2 billion to a new Kushner venture. What is less convincing, however, is Ward’s portrayal of the Russian collusion narrative as it relates to Kushner.

Russia, Russia, Russia

Kushner, Inc. includes the usual leftist hysteria about Cambridge Analytica and “Russian collusion.”  Ward seeks to portray Trump’s victory as something untoward, despite the fact that those claims of Russian collusion have hardly been substantiated by new evidence.  Kushner, Inc. ties itself up into knots to show connections to Russia.  It is tedious–like the “Russian collusion” investigation itself.  The evidence of Kushner’s personal corruption are much more straightforward and compelling. 

As for Cambridge Analytica, that was just a good use of voter data.  Sure, it raised questions of data privacy.  However, it’s not like leftists were suddenly inspired with a passion for data privacy but that they perceive it was used to the Republicans’ advantage.  Unfortunately, Ward retreads these leftist tropes and sprinkles them throughout Kushner, Inc like she’s repeating cant.  

Why are Kushner’s few meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak so interesting, yet his close friendship with Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t raise eyebrows?  It’s not as though Kushner had no role in our Israel/ Middle East policy.  Instead, the former is viewed as axiomatically bad, and the latter is neutral at worst.  Anyway, Kislyak is the ambassador.  It’s his job to meet with people, no? 

It turns out that Special Counsel Robert Mueller also investigated Kushner’s dealings with Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and China as well as Russia.  It begs a couple questions.  First, why wasn’t the special counsel interested in Israel, with whom Kushner had the most dealings, both during the campaign, the transition, and the administration?  Everything with Russia is assumed to be nefarious, so why the double standard?  According to Kushner, Inc., Kushner was a “focus” of the Mueller investigation.  Based on the reportage of Kushner, Inc., one wonders why the whole investigation wasn’t about Kushner instead of Trump.  

The 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Don Jr., Paul Manafort and Kushner was fascinating to the media.  They failed to mention the meeting was a set up by Fusion GPS to tie the Trump campaign with Russia.  Veselnitskaya met with Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS both the day before and after the Trump Tower meeting, according to the findings of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  That seems like a relevant detail, considering the Clinton campaign was paying Fusion GPS to do opposition research.  Wouldn’t an investigative journalist such as Vicky Ward be interested in that fact-pattern?  One can only conclude that the “Russia collusion” angle was a narrative spun by an opposition research firm; yet Vicky Ward is somehow unable to make any inferences from that except to just continue beating the Russia collusion drum.  It is frankly a weakness of Kushner, Inc., written at a time before most people had abandoned their “Russia collusion” obsession. 

Kushner pointed out in a public statement prior to meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation: 

“With respect to my contacts with Russia or Russian representatives during the campaign, there were hardly any.”

Those other 14 countries could have been just as legitimately a field of inquiry for investigators as was Russia.  The potential for corruption was there. Instead, much time was wasted on an overhyped Russia investigation.  

Supposedly the special counsel was looking at Kushner’s business connections with a whole list of countries in the Middle East.  But if you look at the news coverage at the time, it was 100 percent, almost psychotically focused on Kushner’s connections with Russia: 

The Russia investigation went so far as to bother other countries.  Not only did this farce take up space in American media, a complex and convoluted tale which amounted to nothing, the Mueller team followed Kushner’s communications with foreign leaders, such as the Saudis and the UAE. 

In the epilogue, Ward notes hopefully: 

“First there is the Robert Mueller investigation.  At the time of writing, there was speculation that dozens of sealed criminal indictments spotted on the docket for Washington, D.C., federal court could signal big changes to come.” (238) 

Kushner Inc. Has Selective Outrage

As we now know, nothing really came of the Mueller investigation, except for some talk of “obstruction”; in other words, charges which were generated from the investigation itself.  That’s not the Mueller team uncovering corruption. Rather, that’s the Mueller team mucking up the legal system and Congress with its own Kafkaesque lawfare.

While Ward does a good job documenting Jared and Charlie Kushner’s malfeasance, she does not seem to be aware that those with whom she sympathizes politically also commit malfeasance, as is the case in the “Russian collusion” investigation and those who perpetrated it.   

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