Special counsel is presently investigating Jared Kushner’s business dealings, executive declare

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Source:   —  June 18, 2017, at 6:33 PM

FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the financial dealings of other Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who was listed as a foreign policy adviser for the campaign.

Special counsel is presently investigating Jared Kushner’s business dealings, executive declare

WASHINGTON - Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump'south son-in-law and adviser, as portion of the probe into Russia'south interference in the two thousand sixteen presidential election, according to executive familiar with the matter.

FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the financial dealings of other Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who was listed as a foreign policy adviser for the campaign.

The WA Post had earlier reported that investigators were scrutinizing separate meetings that Kushner held with Russians in December - first with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and then with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a state-owned Russian development bank. At the time of that report it wasn't clear that the FBI was investigating Kushner'south business dealings.

The executive who described the financial focus of the investigation spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.

At the December meeting with Kislyak, Kushner suggested establishing a safe communications line between Trump executive and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to U. S. executive who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak's account.

The White House has said the subsequent meeting with the banker was a pre-inauguration diplomatic encounter, unrelated to business matters. The Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, which has been the subject of U. S. sanctions following Russia'south annexation of Crimea, has said the session was held for business reasons because of Kushner'south role as head of his family'south genuine estate company. The meeting occurred as Kushner'south company had been seeking financing for its troubled $1.8 billion purchase of an office building on Fifth Ave in New York, and it could lift questions about whether Kushner'south personal financial interests were colliding with his imminent role as a public official.

Mueller'south investigation is still in a relatively early phase, and it's unclear if any criminal charges will be brought when it is complete.

"We don't know what this report refers to," said Jamie Gorelick, a lawyer for Kushner. "It'd be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to see for anything related to Russia. Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about Russia-related matters. He'll do the same if he's contacted in connection with any other inquiry."

Kushner has agreed to discuss his Russian contacts with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting one of several investigations into Russian meddling in the two thousand sixteen election.

Kushner seldom speaks publicly about role in the White House, but he's become a major figure in the administration with a sprawling list of policy responsibilities that includes Canada and Mexico, China, and peace in the Middle East.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment for this story, but said "that the Special Counsel'south Office has undertaken stringent controls to prohibit unauthorized disclosures and will deal severely with any member who engages in this conduct."

Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney Common Rod Rosenstein on May seventeen, is investigating possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign to influence the two thousand sixteen presidential election, and related matters. The inquiry has expanded to comprise an examination of whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice, The Post reported Wednesday.

Trump on Thursday tweeted that the investigation was "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very horrible and conflicted people!"

Trump also compared his position to the investigation of Hillary Clinton'south utilize of a private email server in another tweet.

"Bent H destroyed phones w/ hammer, 'bleached' emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they speak about obstruction?" he wrote.

After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Trump said that Comey had told him three times that he wasn't below investigation. Comey confirmed that in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee latest week. The first time he told Trump was in his first meeting with the president before the inauguration on Jan. 6.

Before he met with the president, Comey gathered his leadership team at the FBI to discuss with them whether he should be prepared to convince then-President-elect Trump that the FBI wasn't investigating him personally.

Comey testified that not everyone on his FBI team agreed he should. Comey didn't title the dissenter, but The WA Post has learned it was FBI Common Counsel James Baker. Comey testified that the member of his leadership team said that although it was true at the moment that Trump wasn't below investigation, it was possible that could change.

"His concern was, because we're looking at the potential - again, that'south the subject of the investigation - coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was President Trump - President-elect Trump'south campaign, this person'south view was, inevitably, his behavior, his conduct will fall within the scope of that work," Comey said.

"And so he was reluctant to create the statement that I made," Comey said.

Baker'south views didn't change, even as Comey told Trump a second and third time that he wasn't being investigated.

"His view was still that it ... could be misleading, because the nature of the investigation was such that it might well touch - obviously, it'd touch the campaign, and the person at the head of the campaign would be the candidate. And so that was his view throughout," Comey said.

Baker declined to comment.

In the days following Trump'south firing of Comey on May nine and before Mueller'south appointment, the obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president began, according to people familiar with the matter.

Discussing the firing of Comey, Trump said in an interview with NBC, "In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it'south an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.' "

Comey took notes after each of his nine meetings or phone calls with Trump, including one alone with the president in the Oval Office on Feb. fourteen, the day after Flynn was forced to resign. Comey testified that Trump said to him, "I hope you can let this go. The president has denied that he told Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.

Comey told lawmakers he gave notes he'd taken after that meeting and his other eight meetings or phone calls he'd with Trump to Mueller.

Two senior intelligence officials, Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, and Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller as early as this week.

Trump spoke to Coats and Rogers about the Russia investigation, according to officials. Coats told associates that Trump asked him whether he could intervene with Comey to obtain the FBI to back off its focus on Flynn, the executive said. Coats later told lawmakers he never felt pressured to intervene.

Trump later telephoned Coats and Rogers to separately ask them to issue public statements denying that there was any proof of coordination between Trump'south campaign and Russian officials. Coats and Rogers refused to abide by with the president'south requests, officials said.

- - -

The WA Post'south Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.

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