Chris Christie Suggests Jared Kushner May Not Have Been Entirely Truthful When Testifying About Trump’s Failed Election Coup
Last week, The New York Times reported that Jared Kushner had testified before a federal grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, and that when he did, the former first son-in-law apparently suggested that “Mr. Trump truly believed the election was stolen.” Such a claim is significant because federal prosecutors, led by special counsel Jack Smith, appear to be trying to determine if Trump knew his attempts to stay in power were based on a lie—and while the feds do not need, like, a video of Trump saying, “Look at me, breaking the law” to indict him, their case would be made significantly stronger if, as the Times notes, “they can produce evidence that the defendant knows there is no legal or factual basis for a claim but goes ahead with making it anyway.” In other words, in testifying that it was his understanding that Trump truly thought the 2020 election was stolen from him, Kushner did a major solid for his father-in-law, and any potential defense said father-in-law’s attorneys might mount. But at least one person has suggested Kushner‘s testimony may not have been entirely aboveboard.
In an interview with ABC on Sunday, former Trump ally turned 2024 GOP rival Chris Christie told George Stephanopoulos, “[Trump] doesn’t believe he won. He was concerned before the election that he was losing, and I know that because he said it to me directly. So, you know, he knows he didn’t win. But his ego, George, won’t permit him to believe that he’s the only person in America, outside the state of Delaware, to ever have lost to Joe Biden. And so his ego is running that. And am I surprised that Jared Kushner would say that? He doesn’t want to be disinvited to Thanksgiving, George, so he said what he needed to say.”
Christie and Kushner, of course, have a long history together that started in the early 2000s, when the former—at the time a federal prosecutor—convinced a jury to send the latter’s father to prison for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. (The witness tampering charge was a result of Charles Kushner’s decision to retaliate against his sister’s husband for cooperating with the feds, by hiring a sex worker to seduce him, filming the encounter, and then sending the tape to his sister.) Jared apparently never forgave Christie for this and in April 2016, according to Christie’s memoir, Kushner “plead[ed] with his father-in-law not to make Christie transition chairman,” and implied that Christie, in prosecuting his father, had “acted unethically and inappropriately” without offering evidence to back up such claims. According to Christie, Kushner incredibly attempted to argue that when it came to the sex tape and the blackmailing, such things were “family matter[s], matter[s] to be handled by the family or by the rabbis.” (Trump would later pardon Charles Kushner in one of his last acts as president.)
Anyway, as it happens, there are a number of people who, unlike Jared, have said Trump 100% knew he’d lost the election. Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin, for one, reportedly told prosecutors this spring that Trump, in the days following the 2020 election, asked her, “Can you believe I lost to Joe Biden?” While recounting the same story to the January 6 committee, she opined: “In that moment I think he knew he lost.” And in his own testimony before the same panel, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, said that during a meeting in the Oval Office in late November or early December 2020, Trump accepted that he had lost the election. “He says words to the effect of: Yeah, we lost, we need to let that issue go to the next guy,” Milley said, adding: “Meaning President Biden.” As Milley told the House panel: “The entire gist of the conversation was—and it lasted—that meeting lasted maybe an hour or something like that—very rational. He was calm. There wasn’t anything—the subject we were talking about was a very serious subject, but everything looked very normal to me. But I do remember him saying that.”
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