Democrats Open Investigation Into Jared Kushner & The Reason Will Infuriate You

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Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been anything but free from conflict. Back in February, Kushner’s top security clearance was downgraded. TIME reported at the time:

‘That’s a huge blow to Kushner, who President Donald Trump has entrusted as senior adviser with delicate national security and foreign policy projects, including placing him in charge of brokering peace in the Middle East.’

Now, it looks as though Kushner may be in trouble again especially in relation to his real estate business. According to ABC News:

‘Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a group of top Democratic lawmakers are renewing their focus on two loans totaling more than $500 million made by a pair of Wall Street firms to Jared Kushner’s family real estate business and asking for more information about another, recently disclosed loan made by one of the firms.’

A pair of letters were sent on Friday authored by Senator Warren (D-MA), Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) asking “Citigroup and Apollo Global Management to provide detailed records of the loans to Kushner Companies as well as contacts with Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, himself.”

The beginning of the first letter reads:

The bottom bears the signatures of all three Democratic senators and one representative:

Kushner is not being accused of any wrongdoing at this point, but Democrats are interested in whether Kushner violated federal ethics rules as they are investigating potential conflicts of interest in the White House. This probe could expand if Democrats retake the House or Senate in the 2018 midterm elections.

ABC reported:

‘Attorneys for Citigroup and the real-estate arm of Apollo Global Management have defended the loans and denied any connection between the transactions and a series of meetings between Kushner and the leaders of the financial firms.’

A spokesperson for Citigroup declined to comment and Apollo spokesman Charles V. Zehren said:

‘Apollo is reviewing the letter and intends to respond.’

According to ABC:

‘On Friday, the Democrats, who cannot issue subpoenas to enforce their requests, said they have been unable to “conduct a complete evaluation of whether Mr. Kushner may have violated conflict of interest rules or ethics guidelines” based on the initial responses from the attorneys representing both firms.’

The New York Times reported that in March 2017, Citigroup lent Kushner Companies $325 million for a Brooklyn property. This was shortly after Citigroup chief Michael Corbat met with Kushner at the White House.

In hopes of toning down suspicions regarding the timing of the loan following Corbat’s meeting with Kushner, Citi issued a letter to to lawmakers in March saying that the Kushner family:

‘has been a client of Citi for decades.’

In the letter, Citi general counsel Rohan Weerasinghe said:

‘Transactions of this nature take a long time to come to fruition and Citi had begun exploring this loan in late 2016.’

According to ABC:

‘Democrats are asking for a more detailed timeline of the loan deal, and whether any of Citigroup’s debt financing to Kushner Companies involve financing from foreign entities or governments.’

In addition:

‘The Times also reported that Apollo Commercial Real Estate loaned Kushner Companies $184 million in November 2017 to refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper after Joshua Harris, a founder of parent company Apollo Global Management, had met repeatedly with Kushner and even advised other Trump administration officials.’

ABC also reported:

‘Kushner has denied wrongdoing in meeting with the financial firm officials, and a spokesman for his lawyer Abbe Lowell said Kushner has had “no role” in his family’s business since joining the White House, but according to financial disclosure forms released by the White House in April, both Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, remain financial beneficiaries of the Kushner business empire.’

Featured image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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