In the latest chapter of Jared Kushner’s controversial career as one of Donald Trump’s closest advisers, White House counsel is now investigating a pair of loans given to Kushner’s family companies.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “White House attorneys are examining whether two loans totaling more than $500 million to Jared Kushner’s family business may have violated any criminal laws or federal ethics regulations.”
More from the Journal:
The Office of Government Ethics told a Democratic lawmaker in the letter that the White House is probing whether a $184 million loan from the real-estate arm of Apollo Global Management LLC and a $325 million loan from Citigroup Inc. may have run afoul of the rules and laws governing the conduct of federal employees.
Both loans went to the Kushner Cos., the private real-estate company founded by Mr. Kushner’s father and run by members of his family. Mr. Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and serves in a senior position in the White House, met with top executives of both Citi and Apollo before each loan was disbursed, the New York Times reported last month.
The loans themselves aren’t necessarily the focus of the probe. Instead, it’s likely the timing and the high-dollar amount which are raising red flags.
As the Journal noted, and as I wrote in February, citing a New York Times report, “Multiple companies loaned a combined total of $509 million after having met with Donald Trump’s son-in-law at the White House.”
And as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said at the time, “We’ve got the son-in-law of the President of the United States, wholly unqualified in any tangible sense for any of his portfolio, who is incapable of passing an FBI background check, according to reporting, whose family empire is desperately cash-starved and desperately looking for creditors around the world, freelancing meetings with interested parties domestically and foreign who are possibly looking to extract leverage out of loans to him. … That’s a bad scene.”
In other words, the focus of the new probe into these loans is likely whether Kushner promised to repay the businesses in favorable government policy. If he did, that’s a clear violation of the law.
While the White House counsel looks into the matter, which is only the latest legally dubious behavior on the part of Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law should do the country a favor and resign.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.