Drug Dealer Jonathan Braun Whom Donald Trump Pardoned Reportedly Had ‘Links’ With Jared Kushner

Drug Dealer Jonathan Braun Whom Donald Trump Pardoned Reportedly Had ‘Links’ With Jared Kushner
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jeff Swensen; (Inset): Photo by John Lamparski

Jonathan Braun, the drug dealer freed by Donald Trump, apparently had close links with the former president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his father. Braun who was charged with running an illegal marijuana cartel has returned to loan sharking. A photograph of Braun and his wife Miriam with Trump surfaced online from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. 

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mark Wilson
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mark Wilson


A report suggests Braun used his association with Kushner for his prison release. After serving almost a decade-long jail sentence, he has returned to loan sharking despite the nationwide ban. It is also worth noting when the Republican front-runner allowed his release, he was still under investigation for civil and criminal charges, per The New York Times. 

After he was set free by Trump, The White House clarified Braun would "seek employment to support his wife and children." However, the Presidential Palace didn't bring to notice the 40-year-old pleaded guilty in 2011 for allegedly running a drug racket and was involved in making predatory loans to small business owners.

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According to the lawsuits filed against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Federal Trade Commission, Braun was a de facto enforcer, duping people into mortgages they could not afford. And when people refused to pay, he would threaten them with violence. The Federal prosecutors of the Manhattan court were investigating the matter when he was released. 

In a photograph that has surfaced online, Braun and his wife, Miriam, were captured with Trump in April 2022 in Florida, per the New York Times. It has been reported the State Islander has had political links with the First Family. Apparently, he was in the inaugural class of the Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, New Jersey, funded by Kushner's family. 



Although it's unclear to what extent Trump and his aides were aware of Braun's criminal records, a source close to the accused loan shark said he sought Kushner's father's help to gain pardon from the then-president and pushed for the prison release. And on his last day in the office, the 77-year-old fast-tracked his sentence. 

At the time, James said, "Jonathan Braun has threatened small-business owners with violence, death, and even kidnapping." She added, "A federal commutation will not protect Mr. Braun from being held accountable in New York for the civil charges against him." According to the court documents, he was a big drug smuggler. 



However, Braun's lawyer contradicted the legal information and praised Trump for his push. "Mr. Braun's 10-year sentence was grossly unreasonable — an extreme statistical outlier — on the facts and circumstances of his case," and applauded the Republican's "courage in correcting what was a grave injustice." In a span of eight years, Braun advanced $80 million by targeting small business owners through the illegal practice of offering unreasonably high-interest rates, often higher than 1,000% in a year, reported Bloomberg.

However, he denied any wrongdoing in a phone call with the Times. "I believe God made it happen for me because I'm a good person, and I was treated unfairly." As for his meeting with Trump, he clarified, "I didn't meet him because of what happened; I just happened to be there at the same time." 

Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 28, 2023. It has since been updated.

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