Over the years we have documented the incredibly serious and damaging violations of the espionage laws committed by the New York Times colluding with current and former government officials. I recently took a glancing look back at a few of the highlights in “Tears of the Times.”
Working for the Times, James Risen was a prominent culprit. When the government identified and prosecuted one of Risen’s sources (disgruntled former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling) for an incredibly sensitive story Risen retailed in his book State of War, Risen resisted the government’s subpoena for his testimony. Risen asserted an absurd claim of privilege that he took all the way to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear his case. I thought Risen should have been in the dock beside Sterling as his co-conspirator, but the government only sought his testimony.
This is the context, perhaps inapposite, in which I set Daniel Chaitin’s Examiner report “NYT reporter flagged Jared Kushner meetings with Russians to FBI.” Here we see the Times reaching out to its friends at the FBI to lend them a hand:
New York Times Michael Schmidt fed information about Jared Kushner meeting with Russians to the FBI, newly released emails show.
Journalist Michael Schmidt sent an email on March 24, 2017, to FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs Michael Kortan, stating that his colleagues were reporting on the FBI’s Russia investigation and had stumbled onto some information about President Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser.
“Wanted to flag you on something. Three of my colleagues are working on a story about the Russia investigation. They’re told that Jared Kushner is among the individuals who the F.B.I. is scrutinizing for their meetings with Russians,” Schmidt said. “My colleagues were told that Ambassador Kislyak, after meeting Kushner and General Flynn in early December at Trump Tower, set up a meeting with Kushner and a Russian banker. Kushner ultimately met with the Russian banker. The banker worked for Alpha Bank. Thanks. Mike.”
Chaitin reports that the email was only recently obtained by Judicial Watch in one of its FOIA cases seeking documents from the FBI. Chaitin adds:
Mueller’s report, released this year, found no evidence that Kushner received Russian funding to cover a troubled New York City real estate loan, a press scandal that dogged the top presidential adviser despite his denials. Mueller’s team also was unable to find sufficient evidence of any criminal conspiracy between the Trump team and the Kremlin.
In July 2017, Kushner sent a statement to Congress before he was to testify before the House and Senate intelligence panels that said he had just four meetings with Russian officials during and after the 2016 campaign. Kushner stressed he was never close to the Russians, and insisted there was no improper collusion with Russia in these contacts as Democrats had charged. “I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner said. “I had no improper contacts.”
I have thought that, having been under FBI surveillance for at least a year, Carter Page must be the cleanest the man in the United States. The same thought comes to mind with respect to Jared Kushner. Has the Times reported that Mueller’s investigation vindicated the truth of Kushner’s declared innocence of “collusion”? I don’t recall.
Quotable quote: “The Washington Examiner has reached out to Schmidt for comment.”
CORRECTION: The Washington Examiner has updated its story and appended this correction to it:
The Washington Examiner has updated this story to: remove the characterization that the New York Times reporter “fed information” to the FBI; clarify when the email was written and when and to whom it was forwarded; include a post-publication response from the New York Times; and reflect the fact that four days after the email was sent the New York Times published a report headlined, “Senate Committee to Question Jared Kushner Over Meetings With Russians.” We regret that this story did not adhere to the Washington Examiner’s normal standards and procedures.
My reliance on the Examiner story was misplaced. I regret my error.