Democrats demand Jared Kushner be investigated

FBI pressed to open investigation into whether White House adviser leaked classified information to Saudi prince.

    Legislators say while the president has the authority to declassify and share information, his advisers cannot [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
    Legislators say while the president has the authority to declassify and share information, his advisers cannot [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

    A group of House Democrats has called on the FBI to investigate President Donald Trump's senior adviser, Jared Kushner, for allegedly leaking classified information to a foreign power.

    In a letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday, the six legislators demanded the president's son-in-law be questioned over allegations in recent media reports that he gave Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - also known as MbS - secret information.

    "We request the FBI open an immediate investigation to determine if these reports are accurate and to explore the extent to which information and sources may have been compromised," the letter said.

    Representatives Ted Lieu, Gerald Connolly, Donald Beyer, Pramila Jaypal, Peter Welch, and Ruben Gallego noted: "while the president has the authority to declassify and share information, the president's advisers do not".

    The letter said Kushner might have shared information from the President's Daily Brief (PDB) on which Saudi royals the US intelligence agencies "deemed to be loyal" to bin Salman when he visited the capital Riyadh last year. 

    "If these disturbing reports are true, Jared Kushner likely leaked classified information to a foreign power," the letter said.

    $500m in loans

    The letter came just days after House Democrats Elijah Cummings and Raja Krishnamoorthi asked White House Counsel Don McGahn to provide the findings of an internal inquiry into any connection between Kushner's meetings with executives from Citigroup and Apollo Global Management and his family's business, which subsequently received $500m in loans from the two companies.

    The Intercept reported on March 21 that bin Salman had bragged to members of his entourage as well as his Emirati counterpart, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, that Kushner was "in his pocket".

    Bin Salman, however, told the Washington Post he never said Kushner was "in his pocket", and he denied that the president's senior adviser gave him any names of Saudi royals. 

    On March 14, 25 House Democrats called on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to dismiss Kushner amid reports that some countries were looking to manipulate the 37-year-old, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, also an adviser to the president.

    The congressmen, led by Representative Beyer, expressed their scepticism as to Kushner's ability to put the American people's interests "above his own".  

    Trump and Russia: Collusion or coincidence?

    UpFront

    Trump and Russia: Collusion or coincidence?

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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