So, Hunter Biden gets a special prosecutor and Jared Kushner gets three billion dollars from hostile foreign governments. What’s wrong with this picture?
In this article, I’m building a case for the following:
1. Jared Kushner leveraged his White House position to get a bailout for his terrible 666 Fifth Avenue investment. This could be a violation of federal law.
2. Kushner traded top secret documents and/or information from the White House to help MBS take over Saudi Arabia (and to excuse his murder of Jamal Khashoggi) and was paid over $2 billion for his efforts. If true, this is a violation of federal law.
3. Both Putin and MBS want Trump back in office so he can end American democracy and have us join the growing number of autocratic nations, giving them support rather than the antagonistic relationship they have with the Biden administration. To that end, they’ve engineered a cut in oil production that will show up as higher gas prices by election time.
4. Also to that end, Russia engineered the “Hunter laptop” scandal, which Republicans are now running with to try to damage Biden’s chances in the 2024 election (as Kevin McCarthy bragged that they’d done with Hillary prior to 2016).
5. Finally, to that end, Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing Gulf dictatorships with aligned interests are financing the Trump family (and thus the Trump campaign) via the LIV golf tournaments and Trump’s new billion-dollar real estate deal in Oman.
So, let’s go through them one at a time:
1. In early 2018, Jared needed a billion dollars or his entire life could come crashing down.
The son of a professional con-artist (Charles Kushner, who was pardoned by Trump) and a minor slumlord, Jared is said to have gotten advice from a PR professional when his father went to prison in 2005. Ben Walsh noted for Huffington Post that Jared’s dad tells the story that his PR friend advised Jared:
“Step one: Buy a New York newspaper. Don’t be too particular; any newspaper will do. Step two: Buy a big Manhattan building. Any building will do. Step three: Marry the daughter of a rich New York family. Anyone will do.”
Jared, the story goes, then purchased the New York Observer newspaper in July 2006; overpaid $1.8 billion for the 666 Fifth Avenue office building just down the street from Trump Tower in early 2007; and, now impressively credentialed as a Serious Guy, hooked up with Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, in 2008, marrying her in October, 2009.
But by the time Trump ended up in the White House, the note on 666 Fifth Avenue was coming due, and Jared was panicking. The building’s valued cratered in the Bush Real Estate and Stock Market Crash of 2008 and never recovered; it was appraised at a mere $820 million in 2010 and no America or European bank would go near it.
For two long pre-Trump-presidency years, 2015 and 2016, Jared and is father desperately tried to obtain funding for the building from the government of Qatar, via negotiations with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani (known as “HBJ”), the former Prime Minister who at that time ran the country’s quarter-trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund.
After Trump won the election in November, 2016, the Kushners went so far as to invite HBJ to Trump Tower in New York; at that meeting he finally agreed to put up a half-billion dollars toward their financing, contingent on their getting other financing for the rest of the package.
When they couldn’t get the matching funding, however, HBJ and Qatar backed out of the deal in early 2017.
On May 20, 2017, Kushner had a secret, private meeting with the leaders of Saudi Arabia. Three weeks later, on June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic relations with Qatar and blockaded that country, preventing the Qataris from obtaining food and other supplies.
According to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this came as a complete shock to the US government, particularly as our Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf is based out of Qatar. Tillerson tried to defuse the situation but was unsuccessful when, in a bizarre and anti-American move, President Trump came out in support of the blockade of our military ally.
NBC News reported at the time that the Qatari government publicly believed the blockade was a reprisal against them for refusing to fund Kushner’s real estate deal. Finally, hungry, in 2018 Qatar gave in and backstopped two real estate deals for Kushner: $184 million in May to refinance a Chicago building he owned and an August 1st billion dollar refinance deal on 666 Fifth Avenue.
2. Kushner apparently gave Saudi Arabia’s MBS top-secret information from the White House about who in that country was loyal to him and who wasn’t.
Much of this involved Jared Kushner apparently helping Mohammed bin Salman take over the country of Saudi Arabia from his cousin and the grandson of the king, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, in 2017.
“Kushner, who is the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, and the crown prince had a late October  meeting in Riyadh.
“A week later, Mohammed began what he called an ‘anti-corruption crackdown.’ The Saudi government arrested and jailed dozens of members of the Saudi royal family in a Riyadh hotel – among them Saudi figures named in a daily classified brief read by the president and his closest advisers that Kushner read avidly….
“According to the report, Mohammed told confidants that he and Kushner discussed Saudis identified in the classified brief as disloyal to Mohammed.”
In other words, Kushner apparently took top-secret US intelligence (from Trump’s Presidential Daily Brief) to Saudi Arabia about who was and wasn’t loyal to MBS and gave it to the Saudi prince, who then used that information to jail and murder his political opponents, solidifying his control of the country and its trillions. (Mohammed bin Nayef, the country’s leader who MBS overthrew, is still in prison.)
After Nayef was deposed and MBS took over Saudi Arabia, Qatar gave in and handed Kushner all the money he wanted, with Saudi Arabia giving Kushner an additional $2 billion soon after Trump left office.
3. Both Putin and MBS want Trump back in office.
Early last month, Saudi Arabia and Russia jointly announced a 2 million barrel per day cut in oil production, which is just now starting to work its way through world oil prices (world oil production runs around 80 million barrels a day).
By this time next year, this production cut may well have pushed US gasoline prices above $5 a gallon, particularly if US refiners — overwhelmingly aligned with the GOP — cut refinery production again like they did over President Biden’s objections in the months leading up to the 2022 election.
4. To help Trump back into office, Russian intelligence put together the Hunter Biden laptop “scandal.”
Hunter Biden, when he was deep into drugs and alcohol, was apparently using a Russian escort service to hook up with women he could pay for sex. Those women had time alone with him and his actual computer and his iPhone — and may have made good use of that time (particularly if Hunter blacked out after partying hard).
An email account associated with the Russian escort service appears to have seized control of Hunter’s iCloud account, which contained backups of both his phone and his laptop. Marcy Wheeler over at emptywheel.net has dug through the contents of Hunter’s laptop that Republicans have published, and this Russian seizure of the iCloud backup account appears solid (you can read all the details here and here).
From reading Marcy’s work and other publicly sourced materials, I believe it all shows that the laptop that Rudy Giuliani ended up with via a blind computer repair guy in New Jersey was simply a clone, which is why Hunter has no recollection of ever owning it or dropping it off and the signature on the receipt is not his.
The Russians, apparently, downloaded everything from Hunter’s iCloud account, tweaked it as they wanted, and wrote the data onto the hard drive of a random computer and dropped it off at the computer repair shop, whose owner was somehow connected to Rudy.
This is an old and standard trick in Russia: when Putin wants to discredit an opponent but doesn’t want to overtly poison them, it’s often “discovered” that they had a secret life, were secretly gay, were secretly corrupt, etc., a charge often backed up by doctored computer data.
In addition to blemishing the reputation of both Hunter and his dad, and providing salacious dick pics for a giddy Marjorie Taylor Greene to show to the world, the main benefit to Trump of this story is that when anybody brings up the corruption and insider-dealing of Jared and Ivanka (and her millions in trademarks from the Chinese when she accompanied Daddy to Beijing) they can respond with, “the Biden family is just as corrupt.”
This “they’re all corrupt” meme also accomplishes one of Putin’s main goals, which is to disparage western-style democracy and cause Americans to lose faith in our form of government. From there, it’s a short step — already promoted by millions of Trump followers — to replacing a democratically elected president with a full-on dictatorial autocrat. Even if it takes violence, as Matt Gaetz proposed yesterday.
As then-candidate Joe Biden told 60 Minutes on October 25, 2020 about the errant laptop:
“From what I’ve read and know, the intelligence community warned the president [Trump] that Giuliani was being fed disinformation from the Russians. And we also know that Putin is trying very hard to spread disinformation about Joe Biden. And so when you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani and the president together, you assess what it is. It’s a smear campaign because he has nothing he wants to talk about in his — what is he running on? What is he running on?”
And as Politico noted in an article titled, “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say”:
“More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son ‘has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.’”
And just last week America learned that an FBI whistleblower — an actual whistleblower, who filed all the right papers with the government and sought protection from reprisal (not a phony whistleblower, like Comer keeps trotting out in front of Congress) — came right out and told Congress in closed-door testimony that the entire Hunter Biden laptop story was a Russian operation.
5. Gulf states, now aligned with petrobillionaire Putin, are helping finance Trump’s bid for office in 2024.
The Trump presidency was a boon for the oil-producing dictatorships around the Persian Gulf. Trump’s first foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia, and he and Kushner set aside the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump also ridiculed climate science, gutted the EPA, paused US government efforts to transition to clean fuels, and embraced increases in fossil fuel production worldwide.
In return, the oil nations of the Gulf have showered Trump with gifts. The most recent was including a new Trump hotel in a $4 billion real estate development in Oman, financed and put together by a Saudi real estate billionaire connected to MBS.
Trump has also received an unknown amount of cash for his promotion of the Saudi LIV Golf Tournament, which is now based in Trump hotels here in the US. Nobody knows how much money Trump has received, but if the Saudis are paying some of the players literally hundreds of millions of dollars (Tiger Woods says he turned down $700 million), it’s not a stretch to believe Trump may be getting something in that vicinity.
While Trump is pleading poverty to his sucker donors, he and his family are raking in a fortune from the Gulf petro-states. And they’re probably using some of that money in his campaign to retake the White House.
What we are seeing here is an all-out assault on democracy in America, coming from multiple dictatorial regimes that have an interest — both financial and political — in seeing Trump back in office.
That the GOP is more than happy to have their help tells us everything we need to know about how severely Trump and his ilk have corrupted the Party of Lincoln. Honest Abe is turning over in his grave…
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