Two powerful Democratic committee chairmen are trying to remove any information from government files that might shed light on Jared Kushner’s “financial entanglements” while he was a senior White House adviser as they expand their investigation.
They are investigating Kushner’s political role as a key Middle East adviser to Donald Trump’s father-in-law, at a time when his own company was looking for an investor to bail out a Manhattan office building that badly needed a cash injection with a large, maturing loan. .
The lawmakers, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney, wrote to the State Department and the Pentagon seeking any information related to the transaction, the financial interests from Kushner or Brookfield Asset Management, the firm that paid $1.1 billion for a 99-year lease on the building.
They also obtained and released new documents related to the effort to locate an investor in 2016, when Kushner was advising Trump’s presidential campaign, and in 2018, when his father, Charles Kushner, conducted outreach activities while the son worked at the company. White House.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s company sold a $1.1 billion lease on a Manhattan office building but kept ownership
Charles Kushner would later win a pardon from Trump during the president’s final days in the White House.
Lawmakers are focusing on the transaction related to the 666 Fifth Avenue property, in an acquisition the Kushners engineered.
In an April 15, 2016 email, Brookfield President Ric Clark wrote to Kushner: ‘Jared, thanks for coming out last Friday. We are excited about his project.’ He then referenced some follow-ups and added: ‘Congratulations on yesterday’s election. I’m sorry I wasn’t around for it. That was a reference to the New York Republican primary, which Trump won on his way to the White House.
The letters to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken seek a variety of information about Kushner.
Kushner built a portfolio that included the Middle East while advising Trump. Here he speaks with Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Serbia.
Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump attended the World Cup in Qatar. Both are out of politics after advising Trump
Lawmakers wrote to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken seeking information.
The trophy building was a big investment for Kushner, but it required a new cash injection
Lawmakers obtained a document from Brookfield Property Group Chairman Ric Clark telling Jared Kushner that the company was “excited about their project.” Kushner was helping run Trump’s presidential campaign at the time.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner now live in Florida with their children. Here Qatari Prime Minister Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump during the FIFA World Cup Qatar
It notes that a Qatari sovereign wealth fund had a stake in Brookfield, and that the $1.1 billion infusion “enabled the Kushner Companies to avoid an imminent default on the property’s mortgage and retain full ownership of the property.”
He says the company passed on a “substantial personal financial benefit” to Kushner, and says lawmakers are “deeply concerned” about his personal involvement in policy matters in which he had influence “that directly affect Brookfield and its investors.”
He cited public reports that the LLC used to sign the lease included $2 billion in equity from Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds.
Kushner retired from his business role when he joined the Trump White House, becoming a trusted unpaid adviser to Trump on a variety of foreign and domestic policy issues.
The lawmakers said Kushner’s involvement in US policy toward Qatar, which is currently hosting the World Cup, “creates the appearance that he used his influence as a senior White House adviser for personal gain.”
The letter points to Saudi Arabia’s “punishment blockade” of Qatar after Kushner’s companies “had approached Qatar” to invest.
The letter cites an NBC report on the outreach, which also cites Kushner’s December 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
The lawmakers’ letter says the documents they obtained “raise serious questions about whether Brookfield’s rescue of 666 Fifth Avenue was part of an effort by the Qatari government to placate Mr. Kushner, who had long sought to raise funds for the troubled property.”
Lawmakers also obtained email correspondence between Clark and Charles Kushner from 2018. In February 2018, Charles Kushner approached Brookfield’s president and told him that he would “appreciate if you could find sometime in the next week that works for you from agree with [stet] to our conversation.
Clark wrote to the elder Kushner thanking him for reaching out.
Charles Kushner had told the Washington Postwhich he reported in the letter, that he deliberately avoided reaching out to SWFs to avoid conflict.
Maloney’s push comes just weeks before he is due to leave Congress and Republicans take over the powerful Oversight panel. The incoming Republican president has vowed to investigate ‘Biden’s influence pedal’ and examine the Hunter Biden laptop controversy, illustrating a sea change in the committee’s approach.
It is not clear that government agencies have some of the information sought. The letter requests the Pentagon any correspondence related to the building, the Brookfield company or the financial interests of the Kushner family.
Kushner, whose investment firm Affinity Partners secured a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia six months after leaving the White House, described the building’s acquisition in his book Breaking History.
‘There was no way I was going to let the investment fail. He had very little influence, so he was willing to talk to anyone,” he wrote.