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He shoulda listened to Nixon about coverups

Charles Kushner, a wealthy New Jersey developer and one of the country's biggest political contributors, was charged yesterday with obstructing a federal investigation of his finances and retaliating against a witness by luring him into a videotaped encounter with a prostitute.

A criminal complaint filed in Newark said Kushner paid $25,000 to two conspirators and a prostitute to seduce one of his former employees, then ordered them to videotape the tryst and mail the tape to the man's wife.

The rendezvous took place last December, and Kushner allegedly waited until May to send the tape and accompanying photos. The tapes were sent two days after prosecutors notified the man that he might face criminal charges related to his work for Kushner's companies.

The complaint said Kushner planned to intimidate another associate the same way, but that plot failed when the man rebuffed the call girl's advances.

Both of the targets had provided information to FBI agents who have been investigating Kushner since February 2003 for possible campaign finance violations and tax fraud. -- Kushner undercut inquiry, U.S. says (Star Ledger)