Kushner under investigation over Saudi investment in new firm
The House Oversight Committee is looking for records connected to a $2 billion investment by a Saudi fund in Kushner's private equity firm, which he founded as Donald Trump's son-in-law and former advisor.
On Thursday, a House committee announced an investigation into whether Jared Kushner, former President Donald J. Trump's son-in-law and former advisor, used his government position to get a $2 billion investment in his new private equity firm from a renowned Saudi Arabian wealth fund.
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, issued Kushner a two-week deadline to provide papers about the Saudi fund's investment in his firm, Affinity Partners, last year in a letter dated Thursday.
She also requested any personal correspondence between Kushner and Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during or after Trump's presidency.
The committee is looking into "whether your personal financial interests improperly influenced US foreign policy during the administration of your father-in-law, former President Trump," according to Maloney's eight-page letter.
In a statement, a spokesman for Kushner said, “While achieving six peace deals in the Middle East, Kushner fully abided by all legal and ethical guidelines both during and after his government service.”
“He is proud to be among many private sector stakeholders advancing connectivity between Americans, Israelis, and Arabs to encourage continued regional progress,” the statement continued.
The Saudi government's spokesman and the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which made the $2 billion investment, did not immediately respond to demands for comment.
Kushner and Bin Salman
That investment came less than six months after Kushner left the White House, where he had extensive authority over the administration's Middle East diplomacy efforts.
Despite the prince's human rights violations record and Saudi Arabia's aggression on Yemen, Kushner developed a close friendship with him during his stay in government. Despite the Public Investment Fund's worries about the planned $2 billion investment in Kushner's private equity firm, a fund board led by Prince Mohammed chose to accept it anyhow.
Ethics experts have expressed worries about the Saudi fund's investment in Kushner's firm, which appears to account for the vast majority of its $2.5 billion in assets, according to documents. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has encouraged the Justice Department to "take a pretty close look" to see if Kushner broke any laws.
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In her letter, dated Tuesday, Maloney noted that the parent company of Affinity was incorporated on Jan. 21, 2021 — the day after Kushner left the White House. “Your close relationship with Crown Prince bin Salman, your pro-Saudi positions during the Trump administration, and PIF’s decision to fund the lion’s share of your new business venture — only six months after the end of your White House tenure,” she wrote, “create the appearance of a quid pro quo for your foreign policy work.”
Rather than charging a breach of any existing law, Maloney stated that the probe would seek to learn whether tighter rules are required to prevent former public officials from doing business with their former government counterparts.
In the past, the House Oversight Committee investigated both the Trump administration and its relationship with Saudi Arabia. In 2019, it looked into the White House's decision to give Kushner security clearance despite red signals highlighted by intelligence officials, and it released findings on the administration's willingness to share nuclear-power technology with the Kingdom.