Jared Kushner Gets Security Clearance Back

Jared Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, was on CNN with Wolf Blitzer yesterday afternoon. I listened on the car radio. The full interview is here, and I highly recommend watching the whole thing. CNN's abbreviated and edited version is here.

Abbe is a terrific lawyer and I believe he is a straight-shooter. As to the interview, he was so articulate and confident, it was like he was interviewing himself. He took the reins right away -- Wolf seemed somewhat flummoxed at the beginning. In this short clip from the interview, Abbe castigates Wolf (and the media) for using prosecutor words like witness, subject and target, which appear in the U.S. Attorneys' manual but don't have a legal meaning of their own.

Before listening to the interview, on hearing the news that Jared Kushner was interviewed again by Mueller for 7 hours in April and that he just got his security clearance restored I was thinking that his interview in April was a proffer session, that he passed the Special Counsel's test for telling "the truth", and that not only did he get immunity from prosecution but that Mueller's team agreed to inform the intelligence division that in the Special Counsel's view, Jared is not a security threat, has cleared up all his filing lapses and is cleared of any wrongdoing.

But according to Abbe, that's not the case. As to the security clearance, he said it was totally separate, proceeded through regular channels and there was no politics involved. [More..]

Abbe says Kushner was not accused of misconduct, and he was a great cooperator because he wanted to be. He said there was never any danger of his being charged with a crime because he never did anything wrong. Abbe made Kushner out to be a hero, voluntarily providing truthful information to Mueller about three topics: The interference of third parties like Russia in the election (in collaboration with members of the Trump campaign,which in Abbe's view is likely what the media refers to as "collusion", another word with no legal meaning); Jared's meetings with foreign contacts after the election and before the inauguration; and potential obstruction of justice after the election re: the firing of Comey.

Because I knew Abbe years ago, and have closely followed several of his high-profile cases, I do not believe he would go on CNN and tell the world that Mueller's team never suspected Kushner of committing a crime if it weren't true. If anyone were indicted as a result of Kushner's cooperation and the Government intended to call Kushner as a witness, that person's lawyer would be entitled to know any benefits he received. I think it would be harmful to Abbe's reputation if he publicly denies Kushner ever did anything wrong and a year from now a proffer or immunity letter turns up.

When asked if Abbe were present for the interviews with Mueller's team, Abbe responded "of course. Anyone would have a lawyer before being questioned by the Special Counsel's office." I would think anyone in Jared's position, where the counsel is looking for improper contacts between the campaign and foreign officials,"collusion" between the campaign and Russia, improper contacts with Middle Eastern government officials or their emissaries offering help to Trump in the campaign or during the pre-inaugural period, and obstruction of justice with respect to Comey's firing, would at least demand a letter from the Special Counsel's office promising that if in its sole opinion, Kushner told the truth and continued to cooperate and debrief when requested, and testify if necessary, no charges would be brought against him. After all, Abbe could prep Jared until the cows came home, and without knowing what evidence Mueller already had, and what other people told Mueller's team before Jared's second interview, he couldn't be sure Jared would sail through the interviews. Sure, he would know some of the questions from lawyers for those who had been questioned (no prohibition against that, it happens all the time since grand jury secrecy rule doesn't pertain to witnesses, just prosecutors, law enforcement, court personnel, etc ), but any witnesses who incriminated Kushner might not be willing to let Kushner's lawyer know that.

However, as Abbe says differently, and I trust he's telling the truth, I'll put my cynicism aside unless something turns up to contradict him.

One question I still have: Abbe did not address, other than in passing, the separate investigation of the U.S. Attorneys Office in New York into Kushner and his family's business and financial transactions. Is he all clear on that front too?

Regardless of whether Kushner is in the clear due to his factual innocence or for some other reason, given the number of questionable meetings and range of other involvement he had, from directing the Trump digital marketing campaign to meetings and conversations with Russian officials and oligarchs, including a banker, and meetings with Middle Eastern emissaries from Saudi Arabia and Dubai (UAE) and his role in the James Comey firing, Abbe did one heckuva job. Props to Abbe Lowell.

The downside for the rest of us: Jared Kushner, who has zero experience and questionable judgment in Government affairs, politics and world diplomacy, and whose motivation (whether he's acting for the benefit of his family businesses or the country) will always be an issue, is once again going to have an undeserved role in guiding the most incompetent Administration in history -- all because he's married to the daughter of the man who has a desk in the Oval Office.

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  • Display: Sort:
    nepotism and undeserved roles (1.20 / 5) (#1)
    by thomas rogan on Thu May 24, 2018 at 02:00:37 PM EST
    I remember the days when a woman whose experience was as a trial attorney and and with cattle futures was entrusted with developing a plan for health care for all in 1993, simply because she was married to the president of the United States.  It set things back twenty years.
    At least Jared Kushner has the political sense to push a prison reform bill of sorts that actually managed to pass the house.  

    I remember the days (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2018 at 02:15:47 PM EST
    When a man whose only experience was a real estate developer, who became successful with a boatload of his daddy's money, and was entrusted to run the entire US federal government.

    It will set us back as a nation indefinitely.


    My husband (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2018 at 02:34:29 PM EST
    and I were talking the other day about this very subject. We were wondering exactly how long is it going to take us to recover from these grifters? It's not just Trump and his idiot family members that are stealing the country blind but his entire administration.

    I heard if this same guy had (4.75 / 4) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 24, 2018 at 03:38:14 PM EST
    Just put his inheritance in index funds he would be worth 2 to 4 billion now. But he thought he could do better, and then didn't :) not at all

    And now he's going to fix us, really fix us


    How did that set us back 20 yrs? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 24, 2018 at 02:29:11 PM EST
    Jared is (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2018 at 02:32:55 PM EST
    an idiot but it's no surprise that you are expending energy apologizing for him.

    Hillary set nothing back 20 years. Conservatives were just fine with the system that we had where a lot of people died. And they want to go back to that because they think they are special and won't suffer the effects of a rotten medical system.


    Nancy Reagan was concerned (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 24, 2018 at 02:33:30 PM EST
    About drugs. I can't remember if she ever affected leguslation, but she got a few commercials:)

    Laura Bush's passion was literacy. She did affect some legislation.

    Michelle Obama adopted military families and she flat out got legislation passed.

    So...your big beef with Hillary and healthcare was the size of her passion?


    The Clintons (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2018 at 02:36:43 PM EST
    rule the world of conservatives I have decided. They are still bitter about losing 25 years ago and haven't gotten over it. So they decided to embrace Nazism as a remedy and embrace Russia. Now we're all going to have to figure a way out of this mess. Maybe Thomas needs to go to cult deprogramming.

    It was just a standard (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MKS on Thu May 24, 2018 at 05:31:29 PM EST
    anti-Hillary drive-by.  I guess these guys think they are clever with this.

    you know there's (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2018 at 06:31:03 PM EST
    an old saying about conservatives: Not all conservatives are stupid but all stupid people are conservative. When you look at things that way you figure out a lot of their idiotic nonsense.

    You mean when she ... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Yman on Thu May 24, 2018 at 09:16:30 PM EST
    ... lead a task force on healthcare reform, comprised of many healthcare experts and stakeholders?


    See if you can tell the difference.

    BTW - The prison reform bill was a hilarious attempt to justify Jared's incompetence.  How many times did he have to amend his security docs?  Hard to remember all those pesky meeting with Russians, huh?


    The long interview (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 24, 2018 at 03:47:24 PM EST
    Does suggest, they say, he is not a target of Mueller.  

    Still as you say he could be the target of others.  I don't think Mueller cares about Jared and his business deals.  I think Mueller is looking for bigger fish

    I was wondering, was this latest Mueller session before or after Rudy, speaking for Trump, said he was expendable?  

    Oh I think he will end up in the cross hairs (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by smott on Thu May 24, 2018 at 06:12:18 PM EST
    It's nice that Jeralyn respects and believes Lowell , but the notion that Kushner is a truth teller is absurd.
    He's legally vulnerable for repeated lies on his security forms. He lied about the Trump Tower meeting. He tried to establish back channel comm w the Kremlin via the Russian Embassy, and hide it from US IC. This obvious effort to evade detection should make it plain he's anything but benign. He's a grifter baldly trying to shake down foreign govts by selling WH access to save his underwater RE investments.

    If I had to bet, I'd say a criminal indictment is way more likely than Mueller deciding he's a truthful or reliable cooperator.


    I don't disagree (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 24, 2018 at 06:17:01 PM EST
    I would be surprised if an indictment is not in his future.

    I just think it's more likely to come from the state or from the SDNY.


    And re security clearance (none / 0) (#14)
    by smott on Thu May 24, 2018 at 06:17:14 PM EST
    This note by Asha is pretty good



    All interesting (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 24, 2018 at 06:20:44 PM EST
    Don't disagree with any if that either.

    "he just got his (none / 0) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 24, 2018 at 05:26:43 PM EST
    security clearance restored."  

     Kushner never had a permanent security clearance to be restored; he was given a provisional/interim security clearance as of January 2017. General Kelly discontinued high level interim security clearances leaving Jared (technically) out of high level security matters.  Kushner now has a permanent security clearance, for the first time.

     He is free to discuss matters with the Russians, including set up a Trumpian communication system inside the Russian Embassy, if he wants. Although that may no longer be necessary as Trump uses an insecure smart phone and will not change because "inconvenience."  Also--for the communication convenience of Russians.