White House senior adviser Jared Kushner stands amongst Saudi officials as President Donald Trump talks with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during a gathering within the Oval Office on the White House on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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WASHINGTON — The House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation right into a $2 billion investment by the Saudi government right into a firm formed by Jared Kushner after he left the White House last yr.
Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., wrote in a letter to Kushner that her committee is looking into the investment by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, which is controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, into Kushner’s firm Affinity.
The probe will deal with whether Kushner’s personal financial interests improperly impacted U.S. foreign policy while he served within the White House under his father-in-law, former President Donald Trump, Maloney wrote within the letter.
“Your support for Saudi interests was unwavering, whilst Congress and the remainder of the world closely scrutinized the country’s human rights abuses in Yemen, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi assassins tied to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on political dissidents at home,” Maloney wrote.
Representatives for Kushner and Affinity didn’t immediately return requests for comment. A request for comment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund also was not immediately returned.
The Recent York Times first reported the committee’s investigation. In an announcement to the newspaper, a spokesman for Kushner said, “While achieving six peace deals within the Middle East, Mr. Kushner fully abided by all legal and ethical guidelines each during and after his government service.”
Maloney said the investigation will help inform the committee about whether federal ethics laws must be strengthened in order that senior public officials cannot reap the benefits of their government roles to learn financially.
She noted that Kushner created his investment firm the day after Trump left the White House in January 2021 and the Saudi government gave it the $2 billion six months later.
“The Committee is anxious by your decision to solicit billions of dollars from the Saudi government immediately following your significant involvement in shaping U.S.-Saudi relations,” Maloney said, adding that Kushner’s close relationship with the crown prince in addition to his pro-Saudi positions throughout the Trump administration and the Saudi government’s funding “create the looks of a quid pro quo in your foreign policy work throughout the Trump Administration.”
Maloney said she wants Kushner and his firm to supply documents, including records and private communications, by June 16.