Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner made a very bad call by allegedly trying to establish a secret communications channel with the Kremlin using Russian facilities.
But Kushner, who is senior adviser to Trump, is not guilty of "criminal activity" for his actions, McCarthy believes.
"I think there's terrible lapse in judgment," McCarthy, who served as assistant U.S. attorney for New York’s Southern District, told Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg.
"I don't think you can reach out to especially Russia and try to set up – whether it was Russia's idea or his idea – to set up a back channel under circumstances where it would be completely controlled by the Russians."
He said Kushner should have given a heads up to the intelligence community and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that he planned to meet with Russian officials.
In not doing so, "you've now let yourself vulnerable to the Russians spreading misinformation about it and to the intelligence community leaking this information about it. I think it was a bad lapse in judgment on their part to allow themselves to be put in that position."
But McCarthy said it does not suggest "any criminal wrongdoing" and actually "blows up allegations that there was collusion in tampering with the 2016 presidential election between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Had there been collusion . . . there'd be no reason for Kushner weeks after the election to have to try to set up a channel of communications with the Kremlin," he said.
McCarthy, a contributing editor for the National Review and senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author of "Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama's Impeachment," published by Encounter Books.
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