Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, has come under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation, multiple U.S. officials told NBC News.
Investigators believe Kushner has significant information relevant to their inquiry, officials said. That does not mean they suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him.
The FBI’s scrutiny of Kushner places the bureau’s sprawling counterintelligence and criminal investigation not only on the doorstep of the White House, but the Trump family circle. The Washington Post first reported last week that a senior White House official close to Trump was a "person of interest," but did not name the person. The term "person of interest" has no legal meaning.
The officials said Kushner is in a different category from former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, who are formally considered subjects of the investigation. According to the Justice Department's U.S. Attorneys' Manual, "A 'subject' of an investigation is a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury's investigation."
Records of both Manafort and Flynn have been demanded by grand jury subpoenas, NBC News has reported.
It is not known whether Kushner has received any records requests from federal investigators.
Also unclear is what precisely about Kushner’s activities has drawn the FBI’s interest as it investigates whether Trump associates coordinated with the Russian campaign to interfere in the election. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is now leading the probe as a special counsel.
Kushner met at least once in December with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and he also met last year with a Russian banker, Sergey Gorkov.
“Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings," Kushner's lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, told NBC News. "He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry."
Congressional aides have said they would like to question Kushner about that meeting, and Kushner has said he would voluntarily appear before the Senate intelligence committee as part of its Russia investigation.
Gorkov is chairman of VneshEconomBank, a Russian government-owned institution that has been under U.S. sanctions since July 2014. Gorkov studied at the training school for the FSB, one of Russia’s intelligence services.
Kushner, whose family’s real estate empire is worth $1.8 billion, according to Forbes, wields significant power in the White House. He is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.