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By Mark Sumner
The best way to tell just how reluctant to talk the man who will fix everything really is, is to look at who is making this announcement.
"A 'spooked' Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, won't agree to a staff interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Chuck Grassley said."
What does Kushner have to be "spooked" about? There are the lies he told Congress about contacts between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. The over 100 errors and omissions on his security form. The $285 million loan from Deutsche Bank that Kushner landed on the eve of the election. His role in funding an illegal Israeli settlement. The ongoing saga of his attempt to sell the 666 Fifth Avenue white elephant -- a brilliant purchase by Jared that is threatening to drag his family business into oblivion. His statement that he walked into the Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives not knowing what it was about, despite getting advance emails. That time he forgot to let the Senate Intelligence Committee know that he was using a private email account to do White House business. His role in trying to sell Russian nuclear reactors across the Middle East. Or maybe just the multiple occasions where his family traded on his position in the government to sell green cards in China.
So no reason for Kushner to be nervous.
"'I had hoped to speak with all the witnesses surrounding the Trump Tower meeting before releasing any interview transcripts, but with the unilateral release of the transcript for Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, it seems to have spooked other potential witnesses,' Grassley said Thursday. 'As a result it looks like our chances of getting a voluntary interview with Mr. Kushner has been shot.'"
Wait ... what was in Simpson's testimony that would set Kushner's knees wobbling?
Grassley likely meant to imply that Kushner was nervous because things he said behind closed doors at the Senate might appear in public if the transcript was released. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released the Fusion GPS transcripts -- but only after Glenn Simpson himself begged for their release so that the information in them could be used to fight back against false claims being made by Republicans. Feinstein was completely within Senate rules with her release. Nothing that was either classified or sealed was revealed to the public, and the person being interviewed wanted the material released.
It's a miserable excuse for giving Kushner an out on testifying.
As far as the contents of the transcripts go, Kushner actually gets only a single mention in the Senate transcript of the interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. That mention comes in a description of the Trump Tower meeting from a Republican staffer more interested in drawing dots between Fusion and Prevezon Holdings than finding out anything about the events at the meeting.
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