Top Democrats Request Documents After Reports That Kushner Companies Received Massive Loans After White House Meetings
Mar 05 2018
Washington, D.C. (Mar. 5, 2018)—Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-M.d.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), sent a letter to Kushner Companies LLC and a letter to the White House Counsel’s Office in response to news reports that two financial firms—Apollo Global Management and Citibank—made loans worth more than half a billion dollars after meetings in the White House with Senior Adviser to the President Jared Kushner.
“If true, these reports raise significant questions about what was discussed in these meetings, the terms of these loans, and what Mr. Kushner knew about Kushner Companies’ solicitations for financial assistance,” the Democrats wrote. “Underlying these questions is the same concern that has driven prior queries: we must understand how Mr. Kushner’s official position has affected the Kushner Companies’ bottom line. To determine whether Kushner Companies benefited because of Mr. Kushner’s White House position, we are asking that you provide information about the terms of the loans you have applied for and received as well as recent investments made in Kushner Companies."
Last Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Apollo and Citigroup both made sizable loans to Kushner Companies after meetings with Kushner at the White House.
Apollo’s Senior Managing Director, Joshua Harris, met with Mr. Kushner “on multiple occasions” at the White House, including to discuss infrastructure issues. In November, Apollo lent $184 million to Kushner Companies—“triple the size of the average property loan made by Apollo’s real estate lending arm”—to refinance a Chicago skyscraper in which Kushner owns a stake.
Citigroup reportedly made a $325 million loan to the Kushner Companies and a business partner in 2017 “shortly after Mr. Kushner met in the White House with Citigroup’s chief executive, Michael L. Corbat.”
“This is not the first time that Mr. Kushner’s financial interests and his official position in the White House appear to have intersected,” the Members wrote.
- In December 2016, Kushner met Kremlin-linked Russian banker Sergey Gorkov in a meeting that the Russian bank described as “part of a new business strategy and was conducted with Kushner in his role as the head of his family’s real estate business.”
- In May 2017, Kushner Companies’ properties received significant new investments from an Israeli business shortly before Kushner traveled to that country, pumping significant new equity into ten Maryland apartment complexes controlled by Kushner’s firm.
- In February 2018, press reports indicated that officials in at least four countries privately discussed how to manipulate Kushner in his official capacity “by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.”
“Without information from Kushner Companies, it is impossible to discern whether these intersections merely appear inappropriate—or whether Mr. Kushner has in fact improperly used his official position to benefit his financial interests,” the Members wrote.
The Members requested documents and communications regarding this matter by March 16, 2018.
Click here to read today’s letter to Kushner Companies.
Click here to read today’s letter to the White House Ethics Counsel.