What could Kushner be so worried about?
He does appear to have been relatively close to the disgraced Flynn. According to at least one report (from NBC News' Peter Alexander), he and Ivanka Trump were the ones who assured Flynn he could get the job of National Security Advisor — at a meeting at Trump Tower after the election, Alexander said, Ivanka Trump and Kushner told Flynn that his "loyalty" to the family would be rewarded.
Kushner also accompanied Flynn to his meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period — part of the pattern of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that Flynn subsequently lost his job for lying about. Kushner, however, also arranged subsequent meetings with Kislyak and other Russian officials — and the White House didn't disclose those at the time, either.
Kushner's meetings with Russian officials were enough to bring him onto the radar of the Senate Intelligence Committee's Trump/Russia probe, which is questioning all Trumpworld figures who had contacts with Russia. And his failure to disclose all of those meetings — evenwhen applying for a security clearance — has raised some eyebrows (Democratic Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) has called for Kushner's clearance to be stripped.)
At least one figure within the Trump White House saw Kushner's contacts with Russia as a disaster waiting to happen for the administration: Steve Bannon. During a power struggle between Kushner and Bannon in early April, the Times reported that "Mr. Bannon has told confidants that he believes Mr. Kushner's contact with Russians, and his expected testimony before Congress on the subject, will become a major distraction for the White House."
Kushner won the power struggle. Perhaps Bannon's warnings about Kushner and Russia were discarded as just an attempt to weaken a rival (which, in part, they almost certainly were). But in retrospect, it's becoming clear that Bannon wasn't wrong.
The idea that Kushner was some sort of moderating influence on Donald Trump was always more than a little overblown — there was never much evidence that Trump was being moderated. What's becoming clear, though, is that Kushner isn't just incapable of stopping the president's intemperance or preventing his ethical lapses — and that he's not simply a businessman trying to maximize his own profits, either.
If Kushner has, or is, a Russia problem, that means that the current investigations go to the beating family heart of the Trump White House. That could set up a very, very nasty fight indeed.
Commentary by Dara Lind, edit staff at Vox.
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