Robert Mueller’s Interest in Jared Kushner Now Includes Foreign Financing Efforts

Jared Kushner’s contacts with Russia are not the only thing that special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in. Now, he is also examining Kushner’s efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition, CNN reports, citing people familiar with the probe.

This may be the first sign that the special counsel is exploring the discussions between the White House senior adviser and son-in-law of President Donald Trump and potential non-Russian foreign investors. U.S. officials have previously said that points of focus related to Kushner included the Trump campaign’s 2016 data analytics operation, his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Kushner’s contacts with Russians.

People familiar with the special counsel investigation say that Mueller’s investigators have been asking questions, including during interviews in January and February, about Kushner’s conversations during the transition to shore up financing for 666 Fifth Avenue, a Kushner Companies-backed office building reeling from financial troubles.

It is not known what’s behind Mueller’s specific interest in the financing discussions. At the same time, an unnamed person familiar with the matter said that Mueller’s team has not contacted Kushner Companies for information or requested interviews with its executives. The sources familiar with the probe explain that one line of questioning from Mueller’s team involves discussions that Kushner had with Chinese investors during the transition.

The New York Times has reported that a week after Trump’s election, his son-in-law met with the chairman and other executives of a Chinese conglomerate called Anbang Insurance. This conglomerate also owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. The two sides were close to finishing a deal for the Chinese insurer to invest in the Kushner Companies property, but the negotiations collapsed in March.

One of the sources has confirmed that Mueller’s team also asked about Kushner’s dealings with a Qatari investor regarding the same property. Those efforts also did not succeed.

Kushner bought the property in 2007 in a mostly debt deal valued at a record 1.8 billion dollars. The building came under financial pressure during the housing crisis, and in 2011 Vornado Realty Trust stepped in with financing, taking on a 49.5% stake in the building, CNN reminds.

Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell reacted to the recent news.

“Another anonymous source with questionable motives now contradicts the facts — in all of Mr. Kushner’s extensive cooperation with all inquiries, there has not been a single question asked nor document sought on the 666 building or Kushner Co. deals. Nor would there be any reason to question these regular business transactions,” the attorney emphasized.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.