The Kushner Companies are continuing to tout former CEO and White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner’s connections with the president in order to intice Chinese investors, according to a Thursday CNN report.
According to the report, two different companies tied to the Kushner Companies’ efforts to raise Chinese capital for the 1 Journal Square real estate project in New Jersey posted material online in Chinese pointing to Jared Kushner. The pages called Jared “Mr. Perfect.” One such firm, the “US Immigration Fund,” also cited Forbes magazine for the idea that Jared “got Trump elected.”
The 1 Journal Square project and the Kushner Companies’ outreach to Chinese investors was already the topic of immense controversy before this latest revelation emerged. Not only had it come under fire for its ethically questionable implication of links to Jared Kushner’s influence with the White House, but it also attracted criticism over its apparent promise of special consideration for EB-5 visas that would potentially allow investors to enter and live in the United States.
Both Jared Kushner and his former company have apologized for an incident in May in which Jared’s sister, now Kushner Companies CEO Nicole Kushner Meyer, was taped telling Chinese businessmen about her brother’s influence and claiming those who invest in the 1 Journal Square project are eligible for “golden visas” to the United States. Kushner family members, Kushner Companies spokesmen promised in the aftermath, would no longer be involved in making Chinese investment pitches.
The EB-5 program, which allows certain foreign investors who put in at least $500,000 to an American project in a distressed area, is itself the topic of serious political scrutiny after a long history of scandal over the its 27-year-long existence. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has asked the Department of Homeland Security to clarify that no special treatment will be available for the Kushner Companies’ EB-5 investors. He has also stated the real estate group may need to be investigated for it practices regarding EB-5s.
Thursday’s revelations may throw the controversy over the EB-5 program back into the public eye and place Jared Kushner, who is already a target of negative press this news cycle over his role in meetings between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer last year, under even greater scrutiny.