The Securities and Exchange Commission late last year dropped its inquiry into a financial company that a month earlier had given White House adviser Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm a $180 million loan.
While there’s no evidence that Kushner or any other Trump administration official had a role in the agency’s decision to drop the inquiry into Apollo Global Management, the timing has once again raised potential conflict-of-interest questions about Kushner’s family business and his role as an adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.
The SEC detail comes a day after The New York Times reported that Apollo’s loan to the Kushner Cos. followed several meetings at the White House with Kushner.
“I suppose the best case for Kushner is that this looks absolutely terrible,” said Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Without presuming that there is any kind of quid pro quo ... there are a lot of ways that the fact of Apollo’s engagement with Kushner and the Kushner businesses in a public and private context might cast a shadow over what the SEC is doing and influence consciously or unconsciously how the agency acted.”
Apollo said in its 2018 annual report that the SEC had halted its inquiry into how the firm reported the financial results of its private equity funds and other costs and personnel changes. Apollo had previously reported that the Obama administration SEC had subpoenaed it for information related to the issue.
The SEC, which often makes such inquiries of financial firms, declined Friday to comment on the probe or its decision to halt it.
I don't know guys, it's a complete and total mystery as to how an investigation into Donald Trump's son-in-law magically vanished within a month. If only there was some sort of government oversight committee that could look into this or something maybe?
I dunno. I guess we'll never know if Jared Kushner's businesses played a role in US foreign policy decisions or not.
Jared Kushner’s father met with Qatar’s minister of finance last April, to solicit an investment in the family’s distressed asset at 666 Fifth Avenue, according to a new report from the Intercept.
The Qataris shot him down.
Weeks later, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates organized a blockade of Qatar. The Gulf monarchies claimed that this act of aggression was a response to Donald Trump’s call for the Arab world to crack down on terrorists — after taking in the president’s majestic sermon in Riyadh, the Saudis simply couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t take action to thwart Qatar’s covert financing of Islamist extremism.
In reality, the Saudis’ primary aim was to punish Doha for asserting its independence from Riyadh by, among other things, engaging with Iran and abetting Al Jazeera’s journalism. This was obvious to anyone familiar with the Saudis’ own affinity for (shamelessly) exporting jihadism — which is to say, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Middle East politics.
And it was equally obvious that the United States had nothing to gain from a conflict between its Gulf allies. Qatar hosts one of America’s largest and most strategically important air bases in the Middle East. Any development that pushes Doha away from Riyadh pulls it toward Tehran. Thus, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — and virtually every other arm of the U.S. government — scrambled to nip the blockade in the bud.
But Jared Kushner was (reportedly) an exception. Donald Trump was more than happy to endorse the idea that his speech had moved mountains, and commended the Saudis for punishing Qatar — first on Twitter, and then during a press conference in the Rose Garden. According to contemporary reports, his son-in-law was one of the only White House advisers to approve of this stance.
As J.M. Ashby reminds us over at Bob Cesca's place, the Kushner/Qatar story was known about in back in July when it happened. Like all the obvious criminality going on from the outset of this regime, it's so brazen and so common that it disappears down the memory hole into the chaos Trump creates.
I wonder if Robert Mueller is looking into all this? Certainly he's the type of guy to ask questions about such a blatant quid pro quo arrangement.
Federal investigators are scrutinizing whether any of Jared Kushner's business discussions with foreigners during the presidential transition later shaped White House policies in ways designed to either benefit or retaliate against those he spoke with, according to witnesses and other people familiar with the investigation.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has asked witnesses about Kushner's efforts to secure financing for his family's real estate properties, focusing specifically on his discussions during the transition with individuals from Qatar and Turkey, as well as Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, according to witnesses who have been interviewed as part of the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 election.
As part of the scrutiny of Kushner's discussions with Turks, federal investigators have reached out to Turkish nationals for information on Kushner through the FBI's legal attache office in Ankara, according to two people familiar with the matter. Separately, Qatari government officials visiting the U.S. in late January and early February considered turning over to Mueller what they believe is evidence of efforts by their country's Persian Gulf neighbors in coordination with Kushner to hurt their country, four people familiar with the matter said. The Qatari officials decided against cooperating with Mueller for now out of fear it would further strain the country's relations with the White House, these people said.
Boy I mean given the fact that Kushner was involved in real estate deals all over the globe, the potential for money laundering and influence peddling would be titanic.
It might just be the kind of thing that could bring down the Trump regime.