When it became public this week that Donald Trump ordered that Jared Kushner be given the highest national security clearance it was devastating for both the president and his son in law in more ways than one.
Trump forced the issue even after White House officials deemed Kushner a security risk to the United States, which makes it seem like he doesn’t care about national security. This is not the kind of publicity Trump needed after Michael Cohen’s three days of testimony and after his North Korean summit fell apart.
It also made everyone aware that Kushner is a REAL national security risk, and he shouldn’t be a senior White House adviser in charge of Middle East peace negotiations for the United States. Then last night Kushner found out that his longtime criminal defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, is deserting him, like a rat jumping off a sinking ship.
This could not have come at a worse time for Kushner.
From the beginning, Lowell claimed that Donald Trump had nothing to do with Kushner’s security clearance. But when that was exposed as a lie, Lowell decided to protect himself instead of protecting his client.
Lowell made a statement to NBC News last night which tried to clarify that he had been led to believe that Trump wasn’t involved in Kushner’s clearance. This was tweeted by NBC News national security expert Ken Dilanian:
“New statement from a spokesman for Abbe Lowell:
“Mr. Lowell was not aware of nor told of any request for or action by the President to be involved in the security clearance process. Again, officials affirmed at the time that the regular process occurred without any pressure.”
Lowell made this statement because it is an ethical violation for a lawyer to “make a false statement of material fact” in the course of representing a client.
Attorneys can get disbarred for knowingly making false claims about a case in public, or for failing to publicly correct the record after learning that what they’d previously said was incorrect.
So Lowell has told Kushner — and the entire world — that he is not willing to go down with the Trump-Kushner ship on this one, which is understandable.
More importantly, Lowell is also telling the world that Kushner lied to him. That’s not the kind of thing lawyer’s usually do. It’s also the kind of thing that destroys an attorney-client relationship.
Now that all of Jared Kushner’s past and current actions have come under intense scrutiny, the last thing he needs is to lose the criminal defense attorney who’s been handling his case from the beginning.
Yesterday House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has demanded that Trump immediately turn over all records related to Jared Kushner’s security clearance.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) then issued his own statement vowing to investigate how Kushner got his security clearance and Trump’s lies about it.
Also yesterday, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough expressed his opinion that Kushner and Trump both have sold out the United States to foreign dictators in exchange for their own monetary gain.
And as another MSNBC contributor, Malcolm Nance said, Kushner’s actions have raised so many red flags with intelligence officials that they did not want him to have any classified information because of the possible threats to national security.
As Jared Kushner comes closer to his inevitable indictment and probable arrest on a multitude of criminal charges, the fact that his lawyer just announced to the world that Kushner has been lying to him is truly devastating.
Of course people like Jared Kushner and Donald Trump can’t stop lying. They seem incapable of telling the truth, no matter how much it hurts them.
The thing about the truth is this: it always comes out eventually. And when it does, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump both are likely to find themselves on their way to a very unpleasant place: their own private prison cells.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.
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