Surprise — President Donald Trump’s incessant insistence that the whole Russia scandal is fake news hasn’t actually made it go away. In that light, the Trump campaign (which has remained active essentially ever since the 2016 race ended) has apparently paid nearly $100,000 in legal fees for Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who’s among those in the president’s inner circles who’ve been caught up in various aspects of the Russia investigation.
Although the campaign finance filings showing the two payments of $55,330 and $42,574 don’t identify them as specifically for Kushner’s representation, they went to the firm his lawyer Abbe Lowell works at and a source confirmed to ABC News that’s who the money was for.
Kushner has incurred apparent legal costs through a variety of means ranging from testimony before Congress to at least two interviews with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office to even a lawsuit from the Democratic National Committee accusing a whole host of senior Trump associates of being in on the Russian conspiracy to sink the party and its 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
That lawsuit is actually still apparently active, although this past December, Lowell filed a motion to have his client removed from the suit since he alleged there was nothing concrete actually linking him to the allegations. A federal judge hasn’t yet responded to Lowell’s request.
Kushner has attracted this scrutiny for a variety of reasons centering around his proximity to President Trump. He was among those present at the infamous 2016 meeting Donald Trump Jr. took at Trump Tower seeking dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton, and he’s also been suggested to have insight into Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, which has been alleged to constitute obstruction of justice considering at the time of his firing, Comey was leading the Russia investigation. Additionally, in the days following Comey’s dismissal, Trump repeatedly tied the move to an effort to be free from the burden of the Russia investigation, including in conversation with senior Russian officials in the Oval Office.
Kushner could soon be attracting more scrutiny, too, because House Democrats have suggested they could bring him back for more testimony considering they’re now in the majority and have lingering questions they want answered. Just this past week, the House Intelligence Committee announced it was reopening its Russia investigation and expanding it to cover any possible economic or political ties the Trump team has improperly maintained to foreign interests.
Kushner sits in a web of questionable global business connections just like the Trumps to the point that two career security professionals in the White House personnel office apparently rejected his application for a top secret security clearance — but their supervisor overruled them and he got the clearance.
Kushner isn’t alone in his scrutiny — or his financial help from the campaign, which also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s legal defense and hundreds of thousands more for the defense of Donald Trump Jr. besides further financial assistance to the lawyers representing former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and even Trump’s security team.
When your security team needs lawyers, it’s not a good sign.
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