US Senator Demands A Criminal Investigation into Kushner’s $2billion Investment from MBS
By Staff, Agencies
US Senator Elizabeth Warren urged the so-called Department of Justice to “take a hard look” at whether Jared Kushner violated any criminal laws in accepting a $2 billion investment from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Six months after Kushner left the White House, his newly formed private equity firm Affinity Partners secured a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's state-owned sovereign wealth fund, according to a New York Times report.
Speaking with Warren, Pod Save America host and Obama-era National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor called the deal “one of the most staggeringly corrupt things I've heard.”
He asked the Massachusetts Democrat whether the Department of Justice or Congress should look into the matter.
“I think there's a question that the Department of Justice should take a really hard look to see if that fits within any of our current - I mean it is a kind of shaggy dog version of how you get to what is going on here - does it violate any of our criminal laws? And I'd want to take a hard look at that,” Warren said.
She further added: “I think this is a moment where Congress needs to do a lot more about corruption.”
Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and former White House senior adviser, secured the massive deal despite being flagged for its “inexperience” and “public relations risks” by a panel of economics experts who screen the Saudi wealth fund's investments.
During his time in the White House, Kushner was known for his close personal relationship with Saudi Arabia's de facto leader Mohammed bin-Salman and for helping him secure a $110 billion arms deal. He was among the Saudi royal family's staunchest defenders within the administration amid international outrage over its murder of US-based journalist and MBS critic Jamal Khashoggi.
A letter obtained by the Times from July of that year shows staff for the MBS-run wealth fund maintaining “this investment aims to form a strategic relationship with the Affinity Partners Fund and its founder, Jared Kushner.”
The business deal raises ethics concerns mentioned in Sunday's report over whether MBS is seeking to pay Kushner back for his ally ship at the White House or possibly preemptively seeking influence if Trump runs and wins again in 2024.
The report notes that Kushner barely has any experience in private equity, having primarily worked for his father's real estate firm before joining the White House.
One of his largest deals, buying a $1.8 billion office building in Manhattan in 2007, turned into a financial burden for his family's real estate empire during the 2008 recession.
But he was still able to reportedly secure a better deal with the Saudis than Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a seasoned investor and former executive at Goldman Sachs.
Mnuchin, who was also courting the Saudi wealth fund's investment for his Liberty Strategic Capital, secured a $1 billion investment, according to the Times.
Both Mnuchin and Kushner's firms agreed to open offices in the Saudi capital of Riyadh and cut back their standard two percent asset management fees.
However, Mnuchin came away with a one percent fee, while documents reportedly show Kushner's fee at 1.25 percent.
That would get Kushner's firm annual profits of $25 million from the Saudi's investment alone, not counting additional cash earned.