Jared Kushner a ‘focus’ in Russia probe: reports

WASHINGTON — The investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election is partly focusing on Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a key aide, The Washington Post and NBC News reported Thursday.

Previous reporting has said other members of Trump’s orbit are also focuses of the investigation, but the reports Thursday evening were the first to name a current White House official.

The Justice Department earlier this month appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to handle the investigation into all matters related to Russian involvement in the election, including potential collusion with Trump’s associates and potential attempts to influence the investigation.

Kushner has also drawn increased scrutiny in recent months, as reports have showed that he met with a representative of a Russian bank under US sanctions prior to Trump’s inauguration and failed to disclose the meeting.

The Senate intelligence committee signaled in March that it was reviewing information about Kushner’s Russian contacts and his role arranging meetings. At the time, Kushner offered to meet with the committee voluntarily. He has not yet been called to testify, however.

In response to the reports Thursday evening, Kushner’s attorney told CNN that Kushner would provide details of the Russia meetings to any investigation, including the special counsel.

“Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings,” Jamie Gorelick, Kushner’s attorney, told CNN. “He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”

Since Trump has taken office, Kushner has emerged as one of Trump’s most trusted aides, and his portfolio has expanded to include finding peace in the Middle East and reshaping the federal government.