Also implicated by the Paradis Papers is White House adviser Jared Kushner. The Guardian reports that Russia funded Facebook and Twitter investments through an associate of Kushner, Yuri Milner, who holds a financial stake in a start-up company co-owned by Kushner. Milner invested $850,000 in the real-estate tech company Cadre, which Kushner co-founded in 2014. Kushner hid this company in his initial financial disclosure when he began working for the government.
Though not previously known to be tied to the Kremlin in Russia, the Paradise Papers suggest Milner might be connected after all: Russian-backed energy company Gazprom financed a share of Facebook worth up to $1 billion, a Kremlin-owned bank invested $191 million into a Milner firm, and some of that money was then in turn invested into Twitter.
Kushner said back in July that he told the Senate Intelligence Committee in a private, closed-door meeting that he never “relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and top economic adviser Gary Cohn are also mentioned in the Paradise Papers.
Time will tell if Mueller will use these documents to further his investigation into Russia’s involvement in the American government and last year’s presidential election. Last Monday, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his aide Rick Gates were the first to be indicted by Mueller in his growing investigation.
The Paradise Papers mostly originate from one Bermuda-based law firm called Appleby, which set up offshore financial accounts for its clients so they could avoid paying taxes. The documents were leaked to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the same publication that obtained the “Panama Papers.”