As former President Donald Trump conducts what a bipartisan House of Representatives committee recently described as a conspiracy on several fronts to steal fair elections and prevent the lawful transfer of presidential power for the first time in American history, this is how the top adviser and son of Trump’s father-in-law, Jared Kushner, described threats by White House councilors to resign in protest.
“As I said, it was in my interest at the time to try to make as many pardons as possible,” Kushner was quoted as saying by Liz Cheney (R-Wyo), co-chair of the House of Representatives’ commission investigating Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. “I know that, too [White House counselor Pat Cipollone] and the team always said, “We’ll resign, we won’t be there if that happens, if that happens.” So somehow I thought I was just whining to be honest with you. ”
As is often the case with former President Donald Trump and his top aides, the deep cynicism and corruption that pervades their White House often eludes the most mundane remarks. Sooner or later, they inevitably kill the quiet part of the voice.
It doesn’t matter that a coup attempt was made by Trump and his team – Rudy’s “Four Seasons Total Landscaping” Giuliani, Sydney “Free the Kraken” Powell, Mike “Declare Martial Law” Flynn and others. Kushner didn’t want to be bothered by a bunch of whining about it from White House lawyers. He had presidential pardons to take care of some, according to reports requested by Republican lawmakers, and others involved in the conspiracy.
Kushner was just as indifferent to the pleas of Mark Short, the vice president’s chief of staff. Short foresaw the dangerous confrontation that was brewing over Mike Pence’s refusal to play alongside Trump and the coup plotters. Pence’s principled tenacity culminated in a mob of rebels storming the Capitol on Trump’s orders and chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” As the gallows was erected on the most sacred land in our democracy. Trump’s reaction as he watched the violent chaos on television, according to a January 6 commission inquiry, “Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” and Mike Pence “deserves it.”
Yet when Short called him shortly before January 6, 2021, trying to enlist Kushner’s help in calming the looming confrontation between the country’s two most powerful government officials, Trump’s son-in-law was once again contemptuous. Pence is a “big boy,” Kushner reportedly said, dismissing Short, “I’m too busy working for peace in the Middle East right now.”
In the days before January 6, Kushner was indeed deliberately checked out of the scene of the impending crime. Instead, he traveled to the Middle East to mediate an end to hostilities between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, part of his extensive single-minded Middle Eastern diplomacy. Kushner will soon publish a book on his “peacekeeping” in the Middle East and the resulting agreements with Abraham, under which the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recognized Israel and normalized diplomatic relations with Jerusalem.
Dig deeper even in these useful efforts, however, and you will catch the familiar breath of something bad, the aroma of corruption with strong hints of immorality and self-enrichment. Such a scent once adhered to Trump University and Trump’s charity, just as it penetrated Trump’s fictional “Official Election Protection Fund,” which raised $ 250 million for the Stop Theft lie, which radicalized millions of Americans. Some of these “election defense” tools have reportedly ended up in the Trump Hotel Collection.
Of course, Kushner made easy acquaintances in his latest diplomacy with the leaders of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Bloomberg News reported on the Kushner family’s earlier efforts to raise money in Qatar, and in 2017, Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, met with Qatar’s finance minister.
The following year, with the incredible $ 1.2 billion mortgage to be due on a Manhattan skyscraper owned by Kushner (with the ill-fated address: 666 5you Avenue), a white knight in the form of Canadian developer Brookfield Asset Management Inc. came to the rescue with a very sweet rescue deal. It turns out that the second largest investor in Brookfield is the Qatar Investment Authority, a huge sovereign wealth fund controlled by the Qatari government. Although Doha said it knew nothing about the bailout deal with Brookfield, the emergence of such a massive potential conflict of interest involving the US envoy to the Middle East was enough to make even rich Arab royalty blush. Qataris have announced a “revision of the strategy” in their investments to avoid future such “misunderstandings”.
And then there’s Jared Kushner’s unusual connection to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the royal renegade who imprisoned women’s rights activists, heads a regime that executes homosexuals and is ordered by the CIA to assassinate and dismember. Washington Post journalist Jamal Hashoghi. Kushner was able to look beyond all of this, of course, by helping Prince Mohammed overcome the diplomatic backlash and complete a multibillion-dollar arms deal with the United States, despite opposition from Congress.
Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS) are so close that they reportedly communicate with each other outside official government channels using the WhatsApp encrypted text messaging platform.
There is nothing to see there, go straight.
And yet, forever, Trump’s transactional clan, money follows the procvo, as night follows day. Just months after the end of his term in the White House, Kushner’s young private investment company Affinity Partners received $ 2 billion an investment from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which even in the Washington swamp amounts to real money. This, despite the fact that Kushner has limited investment experience and an expert group that advises the Saudi Wealth Fund, raised red flags that Affinity Partners is “unsatisfactory in all respects.” The panel was rejected by the board of the Saudi Wealth Fund, where the first among the unequal members of the board is – you guessed it – Mohammed bin Salman.
A House of Representatives committee is now investigating the long-standing possibility that Jared Kushner used his position as US envoy to the Middle East to secure a $ 2 billion investment and is likely to call his official communications with Saudi officials. It is reported that only Kushner bypassed the official government channels in his encrypted WhatApp chats with MBS. No matter, Kushner offered guarantees that he followed all legal and ethical guidelines while in public service.
As an interesting code for the Saudi-Trump-Kushner connection, the Saudi Wealth Fund has also launched the new LIV Golf Invitational Series tour, which successfully tore apart the Professional Golf Association (PGA) and ruined the professional golf competition with an irresistible appearance. money, all so that the Saudis can “wash the sport” of their grim human rights record. After Trump’s role in the infamous attack on the Capitol on January 6, you may remember that the PGA withdrew its championship from the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. Among the eight seats for the introductory tour of the LIV Series are – Wait – Trump’s Bedminster and Doral Golf Courses.
There is nothing to see here. Feel free to play to the end.
James Kitfield is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.