White House officials are looking into whether $500million in loans that went to the Trump administration’s senior adviser Jared Kushner’s family real estate company may have spurred ethics or criminal law violations.
David J. Apol, acting director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), said in a letter sent late last week to Rep Raja Krishnamoorthi that the White House Counsel’s office told him that officials were probing the loans to Kushner Cos.
‘I have discussed this matter with the White House Counsel’s Office in order to ensure that they have begun the process of ascertaining the facts necessary to determine whether any law or regulation has been violated,’ Apol said in the letter.
White House officials are looking into whether $500 million in loans that went to Trump administration senior adviser Jared Kushner’s (pictured in November 2017) family real estate company may have spurred ethics or criminal law violations
The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) said in a letter sent to Rep Raja Krishnamoorthi last week that the White House Counsel’s office told him that officials were probing the loans to Kushner Cos
The OGE is trying to determine whether ‘additional procedures are necessary to avoid violations in the future’.
Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, had asked Apol on March 1 about a New York Times report in February that Kushner Cos accepted $184million in loans from Apollo Global Management.
According to the report, Kushner Cos accepted $325million from Citigroup last year over a span of several months after Kushner met with officials from the two firms.
Both companies have insisted their officials did nothing wrong in meeting with Kushner.
Both firms had financial interests overseen by the federal government at the time and both firms – either independently or through industry groups – backed elements of the tax reform legislation that passed Congress last year with support from Trump.
In one case cited by the Times, Citigroup lent $325million to Kushner Cos in spring 2017 shortly after Kushner met with Citi’s chief executive, Michael Corbat.
Last week, Citigroup’s general counsel told several Democratic lawmakers in a letter that the loan was ‘completely appropriate’.
In a second case, Kushner met several times with Apollo co-founder Joshua Harris and discussed a possible White House job – followed by Apollo’s loan of $184million to the Kushner family firm.
Kushner Cos reportedly accepted $184million in loans from Apollo Global Management and $325million from Citigroup last year over a span of several months after Kushner met with officials from the two firms. Both firms have denied wrongdoing. Kushner pictured with Trump
An Apollo spokesman previously told The Associated Press that Harris ‘never discussed with Jared Kushner a loan, investment, or any other business arrangement or regulatory matter involving Apollo’.
In a separate letter last week to Democratic lawmakers, an Apollo official added that ‘to our knowledge, Jared Kushner did not play any role on behalf of Kushner Companies with respect’ to the loan.
In the letter to Krishnamoorthi, Apol responded to several of her questions about Kushner’s conduct during the period when his family’s real estate firm received the two loans.
Apol was careful not to offer legal opinions on Kushner’s behavior, instead noting that ‘the White House is in a position to ascertain the relevant facts related to possible violations and is responsible for monitoring compliance with ethics requirements.’
Apol said he raised those questions with White House officials ‘to ensure that they have begun the process of ascertaining to determine whether any law or regulation has been violated’.
He said during the conversations, ‘the White House informed me that they had already begun this process’.
As President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and key adviser, Kushner plays an influential role in domestic and foreign policy decisions.
A spokeswoman for Kushner Cos said Monday night that the firm had not received any correspondence or other notifications from the White House or OGE.
Spokesmen for Kushner and the White House were not immediately available to comment on Apol’s letter.