Democrats on a pair of congressional committees have launched an aggressive new effort to obtain information about whether Jared Kushner’s actions on U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf region as a senior White House adviser were influenced by the bailout of a property owned by his family business.
Citing previously undisclosed emails and other documents related to former president Donald Trump’s son-in-law, the committees on Monday night sent letters to the State and Defense departments requesting material that they say could shed new light on whether “Kushner’s financial conflict of interest may have led him to improperly influence U.S. tax, trade and national security policies for his own financial gain.”
The letters, obtained by The Washington Post, focus on efforts by Kushner and his father, Charles Kushner, to bail out a troubled 41-story Fifth Avenue office building in New York City. The Kushner company in 2018 made a deal with a Canadian company, Brookfield Asset Management, which invested $1.2 billion for a 99-year lease. As a result, the Kushner family company avoided defaulting on a loan that was due the following year.
Democrats have long raised questions about the deal because the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, had a stake in one of Brookfield’s investment arms.
Brookfield said when it was negotiating its deal in 2018 that “no Qatar-linked entity has any involvement in or even knowledge of this potential transaction.” But Democrats have continued probing whether any Qatari money went into the project.
Now, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), in their roles as chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and House Oversight Committee, have broadened that inquiry, co-authoring letters to the State and Defense departments. They wrote that they are seeking an array of documents addressing their concerns that Jared Kushner’s role in Middle East policy could have played a role in the bailout. [Continue reading…]