Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Calls On Office Of Government Ethics To Evaluate Jared Kushner’s Actions In Wake Of New York Times Bombshell
SCHAUMBURG, IL — Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi today called on the Office of Government Ethics to evaluate Jared Kushner’s actions with regard to Kushner’s financial conflicts of interest; specifically the New York Times’ report that his family business which he previously led, the Kushner Companies, received more than half a billion dollars in loans from financial entities after their leaders met with Kushner in the White House.
The text of Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s letter follows and the signed letter is viewable here.
March 1, 2018
David J. Apol
Acting Director and General Counsel
Office of Government Ethics
1201 New York Avenue NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Dear Acting Director Apol,
On February 28th 2018, the New York Times reported that Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner’s family businesses had received over half a billion dollars in private loans from two financial companies shortly after their executives met with Mr. Kushner in the White House. If the allegations in this report are true, they raise serious ethical questions that need to be investigated.
According to the Times, Mr. Kushner met repeatedly last year with Joshua Harris, a founder of financial institution Apollo Global Management, to discuss infrastructure policy and a potential White House job. Last November, Apollo’s real estate arm – Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance – lent Kushner Companies $184 million to refinance the mortgage of a Chicago skyscraper. Significantly, this loan is more than triple the size of the firm’s average real estate loan.
The Kushner Companies additionally received a $325 million loan from Citi Group to refinance office buildings in Brooklyn, a move that followed Mr. Kushner’s West Wing meeting with Citi Group’s chief executive, Michael L. Corbat.
In light of the above actions, I respectfully request that you provide an advisory opinion on the following matters:
- The ethical implications of a Senior White House Official with a broad portfolio of responsibilities failing to divest from financial holdings in active business entities, including those with large outstanding debt obligations;
- The ethical implications of a Senior White House Official having personally guaranteed loans to a private business entity with large outstanding debt obligations;
- The ethical implications of such an official meeting with potential investors and creditors in those business entities while in a position to directly benefit the investors and offer its principals favorable policy outcomes; and
- Do the above actions by Mr. Kushner constitute a breach of his ethical obligations to the American people?
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your response.
Member of Congress