Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., this week requested documents from the State and Defense Departments related to former Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner’s role in U.S. foreign policy while his family business sought a bailout from foreign governments seeking to influence the Trump administration.
“Mr. Kushner’s foreign financial entanglements and his conduct as Senior White House Adviser suggest that he may have prioritized his own financial interests over the national interest,” Wyden and Maloney wrote. “The pursuit of personal financial gain should not dictate U.S. tax, trade, and national security policies. The ongoing investigations by the Finance Committee and Oversight Committee into these matters will inform potential legislative efforts to prevent future abuses by senior U.S. officials.”
In August 2018, Brookfield Asset Management paid Kushner Companies $1.1 billion using funding from a subsidiary backed by the Government of Qatar to sign a 99-year lease on the Kushners’ 666 Fifth Avenue property. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund was the second largest investor in Brookfield Property Partners—the entity used to acquire the property. New documents obtained by the Committees show that Charles Kushner, Mr. Kushner’s father, engaged in discussions to bail out the property with Brookfield on February 14, 2018—months earlier than previously known and shortly before the Trump administration announced its support for ending the Saudi Arabian–Emirati blockade against Qatar.
Chairs Wyden and Maloney are probing whether Jared Kushner advised former President Donald Trump to support a blockade against Qatar while Kushner Companies was seeking a billion-dollar bailout from Qatar and whether Brookfield’s bailout of 666 Fifth Avenue was intended to improperly influence U.S. foreign policy. The investigation seeks to understand Mr. Kushner’s influence on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and a wide range of matters directly affecting Brookfield while his father Charles Kushner was negotiating a major transaction with the firm. Federal criminal conflict of interest laws prohibit senior White House officials from participating in matters directly affecting their own financial interest.
Click here for the full letter to the State Department. Click here for the full letter to the Department of Defense.
The documents released by the Committees are available here.
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