In addition to playing the role of World War III’s firestarter in his idiotically dangerous take on creating peace in the Middle East, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been on my radar for an additional reason: his name keeps appearing near alleged financial scoundrels in reports I’ve been reading since last summer.
This is why I’ve been hinting on various channels that while the whole Team-Trump-and-Russia election collusion accusations are hard to prove — assuming an adjacent and coherent fact concerning the whole matter exists at all — there may be stronger case to be made for obstruction of justice or money laundering.
My focus on the latter charge began with the whole idea of real estate and finance — two businesses the Trump family is deeply engaged in — being historically fertile grounds for washing money.
Like I mentioned months ago, it simply makes sense for special prosecutor Robert Mueller — whose open charter includes investigating the collusion charges — to make a drive-by investigation of an unrelated matter, and possibly strike gold.
We all know that stranger drive-bys have happened …
In addition to all the reported financial transactions Kushner tried to execute with practically the same countries he has politically engaged in the Middle East peace process, there was an interesting article I read this past summer in the Malaysia Chronicle, which has since been deleted. All that remains is the headline:
JARED KUSHNER THE REASON WHY TRUMP IS LETTING NAJIB OFF THE 1MDB HOOK? SWISS BANK SURRENDERS DOCUMENTS LINKING UAE ENVOY, A CLOSE FRIEND OF TRUMP’S SON IN LAW, TO JHO LOW TO 1MDB INVESTIGATORS.
1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad, is a Malaysia-based sovereign investment fund that has been quite an esoteric topic among many American media consumers. That will or should change.
Here’s the abridged voodoo about the scandal: investigators from at least six governments, including the United States, suspect 1MDB stole and laundered approximately $4 billion of the Malaysian public’s money through shell companies and fake accounts across the globe to fund the luxurious lifestyles of 1MDB executives and possibly Malaysian government officials — including the fund’s founder, Prime Minister Najib Razak. Reports say that Razak received about $1 billion in wired funds through the scheme.
In addition to founding 1MDB, Razak chaired the fund’s board of advisors before stepping down. He continues to deny any wrongdoing.
Think of 1MDB as Malaysia’s Watergate.
The deleted Malaysia Chronicle piece mentioned that a Swiss-based private bank handed over 900 pages of documents that financially link United Arab Emirates ambassador to Malaysia and Silicon Valley investor, Yousef Al Otaiba, to Jho Low, a 1MDB principal.
Otaiba — considered one of the most well-connected Ambassadors in Washington — and Kushner are close friends, well as collaborators in the ongoing Middle East peace exercise. According to Politico, the two speak by phone weekly.
Any financial relationship Otaiba (allegedly) has with 1MDB would be politically toxic, and possibly criminal.
President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch described the 1MDB scandal as “astonishing greed.” She announced a civil suit during the summer of 2016 which seeks to forfeit over $1 billion in laundered money supposedly used by the fund to acquire US assets.
President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions called 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst,” and filed a suit this past June, seeking an additional $540 million.
But … three strange events happened.
First — President Trump invited Prime Minister Razak to visit the White House. A puzzling move, given how much life the 1MDB scandal still has globally — especially in Malaysia — and the civil proceedings initiated by the US.
Second — during their their September 12 joint press conference, the two leaders never referenced the 1MDB scandal or the Justice Department’s lawsuit.
Third — weeks after claiming the additional $540 million against 1MDB, The Justice Department suspended their lawsuit(!)
Okay, the official statement is that the Justice Department is suspending the lawsuit to avoid interfering the criminal investigation underway. They also mentioned how the criminal investigation will “take time.”
I’m no special prosecutor, but I smell game.
Why would the Justice Department suddenly suspend a civil lawsuit, only weeks after adding more than a half billion dollars to their claim?
If Mueller isn’t sniffing around 1MDB, he should. It’s worth a shot.
The longshot is he’ll find financial ties between Kushner and Otaiba. The latter’s already been linked to 1MDB, and Kushner’s no virgin to dirty money suspicions.
But there may be a bigger catch.
The strange case of Prime Minister Razak smacks of textbook obstruction of justice behavior or worse — several levels higher.
Or perhaps Mueller will ignore 1MDB altogether out of confidence that he has something even bigger in the pot to cook …
song currently stuck in my head: “undisco kidd (gay marvine edit)” – funkadelic