The Special Counsel’s investigation into top White House adviser Jared Kushner’s foreign contacts is completely warranted, outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Tuesday.
“He deserves the scrutiny,” Christie said of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law in an interview with MSNBC.
“Because he was involved in the transition and involved in meetings that call into question his role,” Christie said, adding that Kushner may have acted appropriately. “If he’s innocent of that, then that will come out as Mueller examines all the facts, and if he’s not, that will come out too.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team reportedly has questions about a number of issues regarding Kushner, who was the point of contact for foreign governments during the presidential transition.
Kushner was identified as the person who directed former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn to call officials from Russia and other countries about an Israel-related UN Security Council resolution weeks before Trump’s inauguration. (Flynn earlier this month pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts during the transition and the charging documents for Flynn say a “very senior member” of the transition team ordered the UN-related calls).
Kushner is also under scrutiny for neglecting to include some 100 contacts with foreign officials from his SF-86 security clearance application, and for December 2016 discussions with Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S. about establishing a “backchannel” line of communications between the two countries.
Christie noted to MSNBC that everyone involved in the transition “is going to be questioned and I think has been questioned” by Mueller’s team. Ironically enough, it was reportedly Kushner who kept the New Jersey governor from being a member of that group.
Christie – who as U.S. Attorney once helped send Kushner’s father Charles to prison for tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign donations – was booted from his seat as Trump transition chairman after only a few days, reportedly thanks to lobbying from Kushner.
As a former federal prosecutor, Christie offered some words of advice to those who are facing scrutiny from Mueller: keep quiet. Attacks from the conservative media and Republican lawmakers on Mueller’s credibility are reactive and unhelpful, Christie told MSNBC.
“I think they think, well, if we discredit him, then anything that happens will be discredited,” Christie said. “This could turn out that Mueller exonerates the President. You don’t want to discredit the guy who might in fact exonerate you.”