Beneath that soft-spoken exterior of Jared Kushner lurks a Donald Trump mini-me. No wonder Ivanka Trump was attracted to her husband. Kushner has no security clearance, and for a very good reason.
Kushner has a lot in common with the president. They both came from real estate company families. Both men came from the outskirts of New York, and both of them had a burning urge to catapult the family business into majestic skyscrapers.
At the age of 26, Trump’s top adviser and son-in-law bought the property near Trump tower at 666 5th Avenue. It has been an expensive dud.
Tax authorities at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Justice Department (DOJ) have subpoenaed documents from Kushner Cos. lenders and investors within the past year. They were particularly interested in some of the businesses’ New York and New Jersey real estate projects, going all the way back to 2010.
An attorney for Kushner Cos., Charles J. Harder, released a written statement, according to Bloomberg News:
‘Kushner Cos. is not under investigation for any tax issues. It has had no contact with anyone at the IRS or Justice Department Tax Division. It has received no subpoenas or audit requests about its taxes. It is not in tax court on any audits. If there is an investigation about others’ taxes, it has nothing to do with Kushner Cos. or its businesses.’
Surprisingly, this investigation has nothing to do with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s attack on the 2016 president election and the Trump campaign collusion. The tax investigation began way before the Mueller investigation, which started in May 2017.
Brooklyn U.S. prosecutors were looking for information about Kushner Cos.’ foreign visa program. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Brooklyn U.S. prosecutors wanted to know how Kushner was using the EB-5 program to lure foreign investors.
This program gives foreign citizens green cards and permanent residents, if they invest $500,000 in specific businesses that also create a minimum of 10 jobs for each investor. With the money from these investors, Kushner Cos. built an apartment building in Jersey City labeled with the Trump name.
The prosecutors also asked for Deutsche Bank AG documents related to retail real estate the Kushner company bought in 2015 at a cost of $296 million. Within a year, the value of that real estate jumped to $445 million.
The Kushners used that property as collateral for $370 million in loans. That included a loan from Deutsche Bank for $285 million. Then, this bank sold off that debt to investors on Wall Street.
The Mueller investigation has not brought up any tax charges, as of yet. He has charged Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and three other Trump associates.
Thus far, Mueller has accused Manafort of money laundering and not divulging his business consulting with Ukrainian political leaders. The indictment say that he did not report some of his income on his tax returns. However, there is no tax evasion or false return charges.
When, Kushner came onboard 45’s administration, he divested some of his assets, handing them over to his relatives.
Kushner’s father was thrown into jail a decade ago for criminal tax charges.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.