Things are looking very bad for Jared Kushner, and by extension the entire Trump presidency. Just days after it was discovered that Kushner is a top target of the FBI due to possible financial crimes and ties to Russia, came yesterday’s explosive revelation that the President’s son-in-law requested a secret, secure channel to the Kremlin during the transition period. This request was so extraordinary alarmed even the Russians, as it would have entailed giving an American access to communications equipment specifically designed to evade American eavesdropping.
The news is bizarre and the move by Kushner so brazen that the worst possible motives seem too stupid for the Keystone Cops, but no innocent or even semi-innocent explanations present themselves.
First, the context: everyone in politics knew that the Kremlin was responsible for the hacks of the DNC and John Podesta. Trump had just won the election in part due to this Russian interference, and anyone with sense knew in the aftermath that anything even tangentially related to Russia would have both negative political and legal consequences. Furthermore, it was just a couple of short months from Trump’s winning the electoral college to formally taking the oath of office in January. If there was a legitimate need for any reason to communicate with Russia absent some international crisis, it could wait until Trump and Kushner were in the White House and could set up any channel with Putin that they pleased.