Instead of draining the swamp, like Donald Trump promised, he brought his own swamp to the White House, in the form of his family. From the first week they arrived, people started asking if they were using the presidency to further enrich themselves. In a lot of cases the answer was yes. Kellyanne Conway illegally promoted Ivanka’s clothing line, Trump promoted his properties, and they changed the official White House website to include information promoting Melania’s jewelry line. They all seemed so happy to suddenly have free advertising for their personal businesses.
But one member of Trump’s extended family has come to find that newfound publicity comes along with a huge dose of scrutiny too. That member would be Jared Kushner’s real estate baron father Charles. Jared is embroiled in the Russia investigation, including questions about whether he discussed the family’s business with foreign officials, and that inquiry has bled over into Charles’ business dealing too.
Charles, a convicted felon, certainly doesn’t want the spotlight shined on his business activities, but that’s too bad. Because of his proximity to presidency his company and his family are assailed by criminal and regulatory inquiries. Today The New York Times reported that:
‘The family’s East Coast-based real estate empire is under a fiscal and ethical cloud, shunned by some investors who fear being dragged into the spotlight trained on the Kushner nexus with President Trump. Two major Manhattan properties are on creditors’ watch lists, one after foreign investors backed out of a financing deal.’
One of the Kushner family properties is set to become a huge financial hardship. Their fifth-avenue office tower, which they had planned to tear down and rebuild to twice the height, became an early casualty of the family’s White House connection, because the financing pact with a Chinese firm connected to some of the Communist Party’s leading families collapsed in the face of public scrutiny. In just ten months the mortgage will come due on the project, and the building doesn’t have enough tenants to be able to cover even the interest on the loan.
For Charles Kushner, the close ties to the Trump family probably hasn’t been worth it to him. Everything his company does will be under a microscope, and nobody likes working under that kind of scrutiny.
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