Flynn and Kushner; High up the Ladder of Wrongdoing. Who’s next?

Photo via CNN
Photo via CNN

Ret. General Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. The court documents indicated multiple officials of the Trump presidential transition team were aware of Flynn’s communication with the Russian ambassador, as well as the topics discussed. Flynn’s misleading of the FBI took place while Donald Trump was president-elect.
According to court documents, “On or about December 22, 2016, a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team directed Flynn to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution,” the statement of offense against Flynn reads.
CBS News has confirmed U.S. law enforcement officials had long suspected that Flynn did not engage the Russian ambassador without being directed to do so. The court documents revealed that multiple officials of the Trump presidential transition team were aware of Flynn’s communication with the Russian ambassador, as well as the topics discussed. Very senior member finger points to Trump’s son-in- law, Jared Kushner as having directed Flynn to talk to the Russians about a Security Council matter is not necessarily criminal or conspiratorial. Flynn is also prepared to testify he was directed to contact Russia by Trump, initially as a way to work together to fight ISIS in Syria.
Likewise, a conversation between Flynn and K. T. McFarland (another senior official on Trump’s Transition Team) about possible Russian reaction to new sanctions is not – by itself – criminal or conspiratorial. However, Kushner had hidden secrets and lies that will prove criminal, conspiratorial — and even evidence of conclusion in the White House. Jared Kushner is the “very senior” Trump transition official who told Flynn to contact Russia, sources told ABC news.
The latest development follows reports on Friday, Dec. 1 indicating the White House senior adviser attempted to sway a United Nations Security Council vote against an anti-settlement resolution passed just before Donald Trump took office, which condemned the structure of West Bank settlements. The failure to disclose his role in the foundation—at a time when he was being tasked with serving as the president’s Middle East peace envoy—follows a pattern of egregious omissions that would bar any other official from continuing to serve in the West Wing, experts and officials told Newsweek.
Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role as a co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 to 2015, a time when the group funded an Israeli settlement considered to be illegal under international law. Despite the U.S.’s long-standing policy to diplomatically reject the construction of Israeli settlements, Kushner seemed to wave in a new diplomatic era among members of Trump’s transition team working on foreign issues, according to sources who spoke with The Washington Post, NBC, BuzzFeed and Bloomberg.
The foundation donated at least $38,000 between 2011 and 2013 to a fundraising group building a Jewish seminary in a West Bank settlement known as Beit El. During that period, Kushner’s foundation also donated an additional $20,000 to Jewish and educational institutions in settlements throughout the region, the Associated Press reported. Had Kushner included the role in his financial records, his involvement in such donations—and the following conflicts of interest that could possibly arise in his government position—may have been considered by the Office of Government Ethics.
The first son-in-law has repeatedly amended his financial records since his initial filing in March, along with three separate revisions to his security clearance application. Despite correcting his financial history on multiple occasions, he has yet to include his role as co-director to the family foundation.
The omission was first discovered by a team of researchers at American Bridge, a progressive research and communications organization, and shared exclusively with Newsweek on Friday afternoon. The researchers suggested Kushner’s failure may have been more than an inadvertent mistake, but instead an attempt to avoid “potential conflicts with his job negotiating Middle East peace.” Newsweek later independently confirmed Kushner’s omission on his multiple financial disclosures.
“Every successive failure to disclose his financial holdings makes it harder and harder to believe Jared Kushner isn’t trying to intentionally deceive the American people,” Pat Dennis, the group’s research director, told Newsweek. “At the very least, his security clearance needs to be revoked immediately. He has no business accessing sensitive national security information.”