Democrats in Congress sent a letter Wednesday to White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, inquiring into concerns about a potential conflict of interest regarding Manhattan real estate that his company purchased — and that is reportedly in dire need of financing.
The letter, first reported by Bloomberg News, was sent by 13 Democratic lawmakers and expresses concern about reports that 666 Fifth Avenue is in need of “massive cash bailouts” from foreign nationals. Multiple outlets have reported on the risky purchase, made at the height of the real-estate bubble, and which has reportedly left Kushner Cos with more than half of the $1.2 billion debt owed.
The letter notes that Kushner visited Saudi Arabia with little fanfare last month and notes that it was unusually taken without press releases or readouts about what was discussed.
The letter asks, “Since November 8, 2016, did you have any discussions with any foreign nationals or entities in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, China, Israel, France or any other foreign country (excluding Russia) about 666 Fifth Avenue?”
It also asks if he did anything “related to helping finance, purchase, or assist with the debt” on the property. The Democrats have requested an answer by December 12.
Kushner divested himself from the business when he took his position in the White House, but his connection to the business’s debt has raised concerns that he could have a conflict of interest when dealing with delicate issues concerning foreign affairs.
Kushner Companies has reportedly become a topic of interest for special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates alleged Russian interference, and the company was reportedly subpoenaed for its use of an immigration-for-investment scheme and for promoting the scheme to Chinese investors.
In August, an in-depth report by Bloomberg News painted a grim picture of the financial outlook for Kushner Companies due to the purchase.
“The strain has become increasingly evident across their holdings. One person familiar with the company’s finances describes the tower, with its low ceilings and outdated floor plan, as the Jenga puzzle piece that could set the empire teetering,” Bloomberg reported. Kushner Companies has disputed that portrayal.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.