Donald Trump’s Russia scandal just got huge. Specifically, the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Sources told the Washington Post that investigators have remained focused on people who previously had influence in the Trump campaign and administration. Those people include former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Both of those gentlemen appear to be in big trouble, according to recent reports, but now, a current White House official has been identified as a significant person of interest in the probe.
The investigation is now reaching the highest levels of government, according to what people familiar with the matter told the Post.
The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.
The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said.
While the Post didn’t name the person of significant interest in the case, it’s been revealed that it’s Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
NYmag reporter says that WH official identified as a “person of interest” in Russia investigation is Jared Kushner https://t.co/nwrMzLQHef
— Peter Sterne (@petersterne) May 19, 2017
Yashar Ali, a contributor to New York magazine wrote on Twitter that, “It’s Jared Kushner. Have confirmed this with four people. I’m not speculating.”
The case began last July in order to determine if Trump’s campaign and associates coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, but now the FBI is doing the investigative work. That includes the bureau determining whether any financial crimes were committed by people close to the former reality show star.
The people familiar with the matter said the probe has sharpened into something more fraught for the White House, the FBI and the Justice Department — particularly because of the public steps investigators know they now need to take, the people said.
When subpoenas are issued or interviews are requested, it is possible the people being asked to talk or provide documents will reveal publicly what they were asked about.
Trump’s associates have so many ties to Russia that Politico had to make a diagram of all of the connections. A shorter list (albeit, maybe an empty one) would be one that names those in his administration who have no ties to Russia. Kushner is on that list.
In addition, investigators into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, McClatchy reports.
When you ‘follow the money’ with Trump, it leads to strange places.
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