FBI must investigate Jared Kushner's links to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, say Democrats

Mr Kushner denies reports that he leaked classified information to the prince

Emily Shugerman
New York
Friday 30 March 2018 09:54 BST
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Louise Thomas

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US legislators have asked the FBI investigate presidential adviser Jared Kushner over reports that he disclosed classified information to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

The FBI must open an investigation into possible “unauthorised disclosures of information” by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, six Democratic representatives wrote in a letter to the bureau.

The request was spurred by reports that Mr Kushner told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman the names of royal family members who were opposed to him – information the adviser allegedly gained from Mr Trump’s daily briefing.

“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,” wrote Representatives Ted Lieu, Gerald Connolly, Donald Beyer, Pramila Jaypal, Peter Welch and Ruben Gallego.

If the reports are true, the representatives claim, Mr Kushner may have violated federal law.

Representatives for Mr Kushner did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did the Saudi Arabian Embassy to the US.

Mr Kushner, who has been granted a broad portfolio of Middle Eastern affairs despite his lack of foreign policy experience, visited Crown Prince Salman in October – four months after the foreign leader replaced then-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as second in line for the throne.

During his visit, Mr Kushner disclosed the names of Saudi families who opposed the power shift, sources close to the royal family told The Intercept. The names were listed in a presidential daily briefing that Mr Kushner read religiously, according to the outlet.

Mr Mirijanian denied that Mr Kushner had disclosed the names, telling The Intercept at the time: “Some questions by the media are so obviously false and ridiculous that they merit no response. This is one.”

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A week after Mr Kushner returned from his trip to Riyadh, the Saudi government arrested dozens of members of the Saudi royal family in an "anti-corruption crackdown".

Mr Kushner has since had his access to the President’s Daily Brief restricted, after his temporary security clearance was downgraded in February. The change came at the same time the White House overhauled its security clearance system and downgraded dozens of temporary statuses. It was not clear why Mr Kushner had not obtained a permanent clearance.

The presidential adviser has previously come under scrutiny for his interactions he had with Middle Eastern leaders while working at his family’s real estate business. The adviser and his father, Charles Kushner, attempted to negotiate a half-billion-dollar real estate investment with former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani in 2016, according to The Intercept. The leader rejected the deal.

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