Key Democrats are asking State, Defense for records on the Kushner family business

Key Democrats are asking State, Defense for records on the Kushner family business
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Two co-chairs of the Democratic Congressional Committee on Tuesday co-authored letters to the State and Defense Departments asking for a series of records about Jared Kushner’s family business and raising concerns about his financial interests when he discussed Trump’s foreign policy influenced the Persian Gulf government.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (NY) and Senate Treasury Committee Chair Ron Wyden (Ore.) requested previously unreleased emails, most of which pertain to a bailout of move into a Kushner-owned office building in 2018. The request comes as part of the committees’ investigation into whether the former senior White House adviser’s financial conflicts of interest unduly influenced US policy.

The lettersFirst published by The Washington Post, detailed how Canadian investment firm Brookfield Asset Management struck a previously known deal to prepay a 99-year lease on the Kushner family’s 39-story office building in Midtown Manhattan, valued at approximately $1.1 billion. to help the Kushners avoid defaults on outstanding loan payments.

Maloney and Wyden emphasized that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund was the second largest investor in the fund that paid for the bailout.

“Given the significant personal financial benefit Brookfield brings to Mr. Kushner and his family, we are deeply concerned about Mr. Kushner’s personal involvement in a number of policy-making processes in which he appears to have exercised his influence as a senior US government official over matters that… Directly affecting Brookfield and its investors,” Maloney and Wyden wrote.

“We have been completely transparent and have responded to all inquiries,” Brookfield said in a statement. “As we have said throughout, the decision to acquire this building was based solely on its own merits – it was an iconic, underperforming building in a prime location in need of a major refurbishment. The building has now been remodeled and we believe it will exceed our expectations in terms of delivering value to our customers.”

The Hill has reached out to Kushner’s company for comment.

Kushner, who is married to former President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, has been heavily involved in the administration’s Middle East policy.

Maloney and Wyden raised some concerns about Kushner’s alleged involvement in the government’s position on an economic blockade imposed on Qatar in 2017 by a Saudi-led coalition that allegedly portrayed Qatar’s support for terrorism and a month after the former’s visit President in Saudi Arabia.

The two Democrats claimed that the blockade may have been used as leverage for the Manhattan building rescue effort, noting that the then secretaries of state and defense did not support the blockade.

Kushner claimed in his memoirs that he was not to blame for the Saudis’ actions and attempted to lift the blockade. The Washington Post reported.

The letters also target Kushner’s involvement in negotiating the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, given Brookfield’s large portfolio of assets in North America and the investment firm’s efforts to obtain approval to acquire a US nuclear reactor company during lease negotiations.

Maloney and Wyden also raised concerns that Kushner was seeking investment from the United Arab Emirates for his new firm soon after leaving the White House.

Trump announced on his last day as president that he would exempt the country from tariffs on most aluminum imports, although President Biden later reversed the decision.

Updated at 12:29 p.m

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